Different Types of Laser Eye Surgery, Which is Best for You?
There are two basic types of laser eye surgery, PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) and LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis). There are different varieties of each of the surgeries based on different surgical techniques. Both surgeries correct vision problems through surgical manipulation of the cornea. A certified eye doctor can help you choose which surgery is right for you.
PRK eye surgery is fundamentally different from LASIK eye surgery. PRK was originally the most practiced procedure used to restore vision until the emergence of LASIK. Both surgeries involve the use of lasers. The difference between the surgeries comes from the way that the surgeon uses the laser throughout the procedure.
PRK eye surgery is usually performed at an outpatient surgical center or at a doctor’s office. The operation is short; the surgery itself only takes less a minute or two to perform. Sometimes the doctor prescribes some type of minor sedative to relax the patient before the procedure; this will also affect the patient’s ability to drive. Before any type of laser eye surgery, the patient should arrange for a friend or family member to drive him to and from the surgical center.
During the operation the patient will remain in a reclined or flat position. The PRK surgeon will first numb the eye and then thoroughly cleans the eye and the surrounding area using sterile optical solution. After the eye is numb, the eye doctor uses a suction ring to hold the eye in place. Basically, this kind of laser surgery is far different from rhinoplasty. Non-surgical rhinoplasty will help you get the nose you want without the painful recovery of surgery. However, laser eye surgery is a different story. The recovery stage may be somehow painful and hard.
During the PRK procedure, the surgeon uses lasers to remove the outer layer of the cornea. The surgeon then reshapes the patient’s eye through manipulation until it resembles the shape of a normal eye. PRK requires a longer time for recovery and the patient will experience more discomfort during the healing stage then with traditional LASIK surgery.
Traditional LASIK eye surgery is usually performed at an outpatient surgical center or at a doctor’s office. The operation is short; it usually takes less than an hour to perform. Eye surgery patients remain awake during the laser surgery in order to be aid the surgeon when he needs to move the eye. The procedure is painless; often the patient will only experience minimal discomfort during the first stages of the operation.
During the operation the patient remains in a reclined or flat position. The LASIK surgeon will first numb the eye and then thoroughly cleans the eye and the surrounding area using sterile optical solution. After the eye is numb, the surgeon will make a small incision in the patient’s cornea using a small surgical blade called a microkeratome.
The incision causes the cornea to separate from the eye creating a flap. The surgeon manipulates the eye until its shape is normal. Then the flap is closed. LASIK patients will see results immediately following the surgery.
Both types of laser eye surgery, PRK and LASIK allow patients to see without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. A qualified eye doctor can decide which type of surgery is best for a patient based on an initial primary exam.