Types of Laser Eye Surgery
There are many different types of laser eye surgery that can improve your vision with minimal downtime. However, LASIK and PRK are the most popular and most commonly performed, depending on the patient and their goals.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis)
LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is the most commonly performed refractive surgery. The procedure is brief and minimally invasive with little downtime, making it a popular choice for most patients.
LASIK can be performed on most eyes with mild to intermediate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The procedure typically takes 10 to 15 minutes and only requires a few days of downtime to let your eyes heal and adjust.
The procedure involves making a small flap with an excimer laser in the epithelium, or outermost layer of the cornea. The flap is then pushed back to reveal the corneal tissue underneath. The underlying tissue is then reshaped with the excimer laser to correct your refractive error. The flap is then replaced to act as a natural bandage, which should heal over a few days.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is another commonly performed surgery for individuals with thinner corneas. The procedure is slightly more invasive than LASIK and will require a week of downtime to heal properly.
PRK can be performed on most eyes with refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Because of the nature of the procedure, it is also a better choice for individuals with thin corneas.
The procedure involves removing the outer layer of the cornea with an excimer laser or precise blade. The corneal tissue underneath is reshaped using the laser to adjust vision based on the refractive error. A bandage contact lens is then be placed on your eye to protect it while it heals.