What types of procedures are used for vision correction?
All vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. There are a number of different surgical procedures used to reshape the eye. The surgeon will help determine the best procedure based on eye measurements. Procedures include:
- LASIK: Short for laser in-situ keratomileusis, this procedure is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. This procedure is most common and is performed by creating a flap with a laser in the outer layer of the cornea to reshape the layers underneath, resulting in fast healing time with minimal discomfort.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK): Short for photorefractive keratectomy, this procedure is also used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. During PRK, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea not underneath the cornea, like in LASIK. No cutting is required in this procedure, though the surface layer is removed during the surgery. This part of the eye grows back within the first few days after surgery. Patients may experience some discomfort after surgery and healing time may be somewhat longer than LASIK.
- PHAKIC IOL: This procedure is performed by inserting an intraocular lens, much like the ones used in cataract surgery, in front of a patient’s own lens, without interrupting the surface layers. This procedure is typically used for patients with very nearsighted eyes. It is another option when procedures like LASIK or PRK are not possible.