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Laser Eye Surgery Procedures

Laser Eye Surgery Procedures

There are basically two different types of laser eye surgeries, PRK laser eye surgery and LASIK laser eye surgery. Under these two basic categories, there are several kinds of modifications available within each type. For example, LASEK laser eye surgery is just a new type of PRK laser eye surgery. Whatever be the form, all the different kinds of laser eye surgery procedures are carried out keeping the patient awake as the numbing drop is given to patient’s eyes as per the prescription. The basic difference between the two broad categories (PRK & LASIK) is, in PRK laser eye surgery types in order to remove the epithelium (cornea’s outermost layer), surface ablation technique is used instead of creating the flap as done in LASIK group of eye surgery procedures.

Following is a brief overview of the different types of laser eye surgery procedures:
PRK Laser Eye Surgery [1995]

Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, was the first kind of corrective eye surgery to remove the corneal tissue by using a laser rather than a blade. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not approve the use of PRK for eye surgery until 1995 although the excimer laser was introduced in way back in 1970s and specifically introduced for ophthalmic use in the early 1980s.

PRK laser eye surgery was initially introduced to treat myopia by using a laser to take out small amount of cornea. Later on, laser eye surgeons started treating people suffering with hyperopia [farsightedness] and astigmatism using PRK laser eye surgery techniques as the technology got improved gradually. The PRK laser eye surgery procedure does not include the creation of flap in the cornea unlike the previous eye surgery procedure like ALK laser eye surgery. Instead, in this eye surgery procedure the laser is applied directly to the surface of the cornea. In PRK laser eye surgery the outermost layer of the cornea (epithelium) is scraped away physically and an excimer laser reshapes tissues located on the underlying (stromal) surface of the cornea. Because of this, there are some opinions that the healing period for PRK laser eye surgery is relatively long and is uncomfortable. The fact about PRK laser eye surgery procedure is, – it has been carried out on a very small percentage of people in ten years even after its initial FDA approval.

PRK laser eye surgery lost its popularity upon the advancement of LASIK laser eye surgery. LASIK laser eye surgery is a procedure which allows people to get their vision corrected within a short recovery period
LASIK Laser Eye Surgery [1999]

Doctor Loannis Pallikaris was the first eye surgeon to conceive the idea of LASIK – Laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis. LASIK laser eye surgery has become the most popular corneal refractive procedure.

For the laser eye surgeons to shape the cornea, the use of the laser rather than microkeratome blade helps in predicting and controlling the surgical eye correction. Comparing to procedures like PRK laser eye surgery, the use of the corneal flap to contact the underlying tissues reduces the discomfort that occurs after the surgery.

LASIK laser eye surgery is a procedure in which a thin flap of tissue is cut, and then peeled back from the very front of the cornea (this is the transparent covering over your pupil). The corneal tissue below the flap is literally vaporised using the laser to reshape the cornea in order to correct the refractive error. Then the flap is placed back over the front of your eye. LASIK laser eye surgery can be used to correct short-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
More on Lasik Eye Surgery
LASEK Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis or LASEK is an advanced form of PRK laser eye surgery. In the LASEK laser eye surgery procedure, the epithelium is first softened using alcohol based solution and then it is removed. Afterwards, excimer laser is used to reshape the corneal stroma for correcting the vision. After this step the epithelium is replaced again. The advantage of LASEK surgery over PRK surgery is that the cutting blade need not be used to create a flap in the cornea and thus the process of healing is relatively faster in LASEK.
More on Lasek Eye Surgery
Epi-LASEK Laser Eye Surgery

Epi-LASEK laser eye surgery is a modified LASEK laser eye surgery. In this eye surgery procedure the living layer of epithelium is preserved by making use of a “separator”, and the epithelium is then replaced after the stroma is reshaped using the excimer laser. Compared to LASEK laser eye surgery, the discomfort is reduced and the healing time is hastened in Epi-LASEK laser eye surgery.
‘ALL LASER’ LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

The ‘All LASER’ LASIK (laser eye surgery) differs from standard LASIK surgery. In this eye surgery procedure, the flap in the epithelium is created by using an additional laser instead of a microkeratome blade. This procedure is also known as the ‘bladeless’ LASIK surgery.

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