Which laser eye surgery is best?

The eye is a very sensitive organ so it is required a careful and subtle surgery method to resolve vision problems. Laser eye surgery is used for this purpose. The question is, what laser eye surgery is best? Here is the answer.

What laser eye surgery does?

Various techniques are used to correct vision problems like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. In recent years, laser eye surgery or laser refractive surgery has become a more common way to correct vision. The surgery usually involves reshaping the cornea – the transparent layer covering the front of the eye. This is done using a type of laser known as the excimer laser. You must be over 21 years old and have had a consistent prescription for 2 years.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) recommends that the doctors who perform this operation be registered as ophthalmologists and have additional specialist training in laser refractive surgeries.

laser eye surgery types

What are laser eye surgery types?

One of the frequently asked questions is the difference between laser eye surgeries, especially LASIK and LASEK. The two methods are somewhat similar in terms of vocabulary, but the procedure used differs in each of them. We will continue to discuss laser eye surgery types and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Here is a summary of laser eye surgery types :

Laser-assisted in situ keratectomy (LASIK)

LASIK surgery has been in place since the mid-1990s and is the most common procedure in the United Kingdom. Farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism can be corrected with it, but it may not be suitable for high-grade correction. This is done by the surgeon removing a thin flap, about 100 to 180 microns thick, from the corneal tissue. The flap contains both the epithelium (upper layer) and part of the stroma.

The flap is not detached from the cornea and is attached to the cornea with very thin tissue. The surgeon carefully lifts the flap from the cornea, then forms the cornea below it with an excimer laser. After this, the patient can see without glasses. The surgeon gently returns the flap to the cornea to heal in its place after the cornea is surgically reshaped with a laser.

What laser eye surgery does

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

PRK was invented as a way to access the cornea before LASIK but is still the best and safest method of refractive surgery in some situations. The surgeon removes a very thin layer of corneal tissue, the epithelium, by laser or with an alcohol solution and delicate surgical knife. The removed tissue is much thinner than the flap that is cut in LASIK and does not have a stroma layer.

Another difference between PRK and other laser eye surgeries is that this thin layer of tissue does not return to its original position because epithelium restores itself. The surgeon then reshapes the surface of the cornea with an excimer laser and at the end, places the contact lens as a dressing on the eye to protect the eye while repairing its epithelium, which usually takes 3 to 4 days

Laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy (LASEK)

laser eye surgery LASEK has the benefits of both LASIK and PRK, but the risk of subsequent complications is low.

The epithelial tissue is weakened in LASEK, such as PRK method, with an alcohol solution. The surgeon then lifts a thin flap from the tissue with surgical knives without using a laser. The flap thickness is about 50 microns in this method and 100-180 in the LASIK method. The surgeon then reshapes the cornea with the use of laser and then returns the epithelium to its place. Finally, like the PRK method, a contact lens is applied to the eye until the epithelium is repaired.

Some may ask laser eye surgery LASIK or LASEK ?It may sound a bit confusing, but the main difference between LASIK and LASEK is the thickness of the cut. In LASIK the epithelium and part of the stroma layer are cut and lifted. But in the LASEK and PRK method, only the epithelial layer is removed.

laser eye surgery long term risks

What are laser eye surgery long term risks?

Laser eye surgery complications occur in less than 5% of cases, and most people return to work within a few days to a week. Some people experience the problem of dry eyes for months after surgery. Artificial tears help in this case. Other patients experience increased sensitivity to glare or aura when driving at night for weeks or months after laser eye surgery. This most likely occurs when a high degree of hyperopia or myopia is corrected.

Excessive thinning of the eye wall, rarely causes the eyesight to become unstable after treatment. Very rarely, severe vision loss occurs. Totally, laser eye surgery risks are very low.

It is very important to know how often and why your surgeon has experienced Laser eye surgery complications . You can find more information about laser eye surgery risks in the patient guide book for excimer laser refractive surgery published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. You can also read more about ophthalmic laser surgery at the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE).

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