What are the types of LASIK eye surgeries?

How much do you know about LASIK eye surgery? You probably know that it’s a popular laser procedure, used to improve eyesight. You may even know that it stands for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. But did you know that they are several different LASIK types? Let’s look at the different types of laser-assisted eye surgeries.

  • LASIK is a refractive surgery that treats myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. It’s one of the most popular procedures, because it’s been around for a long time and has a quick recovery period with minimal discomfort. Most people enjoy 20/20 vision the following day. During the LASIK procedure, the surgeon creates a flap that allows access to the cornea. Lasers are then used to gently reshape the cornea, and the flap is put back into place. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes and requires no stitches. It’s FDA approved, and thanks to modern computer technology, can be customized for very precise vision correction.
  • PRK stands for Photo Refractive Keratectomy, and it was around before LASIK. Most surgeons use LASIK in place of PRK now, but for patients with a thin cornea, PRK is a better option. Like LASIK, it’s an FDA approved,  blade free technique used to treat myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Unlike LASIK, it does not treat moderate to high hyperopia. In this procedure, the surgeon doesn’t create a flap on the cornea, but removes the entire top layer. The recovery time is longer than LASIK, and a bandage contact lens is used after the laser treatment. ASA, or Advanced Surface Ablation, is a type of PRK.
  • LASEK, like LASIK and PRK, treats myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. It stands for Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis, and is very similar to PRK. As with PRK, it involves removing the corneal epithelium. That tissue is repositioned on the surface of the eye after the cornea is reshaped, and a bandage contact lens is used to keep it in place during the healing process. LASEK is not FDA approved, and involves more discomfort and a longer recovery time than LASIK. EPI-LASIK is very similar to LASEK, and also not FDA approved.
  • SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, and is a new procedure. SMILE is blade-free, and uses one laser to create a disc of tissue within the cornea known as a lenticule, outlining the refractive error of the patient. Using a tiny incision, the surgeon removes the lenticule, reshaping and flattening the cornea to correct vision.
  • There are other laser treatments available to address different vision issues. PTK, or Photo Therapeutic Keratectomy, treats corneal scarring and other problems by polishing the corneal surface and removing irregular tissue. YAG, or neodymium-Yttrium Aluminum Garnet treats secondary cataracts. SLT, which stands for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, is used to lower eye pressure in glaucoma. For people with diabetic retinopathy, PRP, or Pan Retinal Photocoagulation is used not to improve eyesight but to prevent further loss of vision. All of these procedures are FDA approved.

Before or after any type of LASIK eye surgery, trust Panorama LASIK to care for your eyes. Serving all of Colorado, Panorama LASIK utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (970) 232-1565, or contact us to learn more.

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