Modern surgical lasers are able to alter the curvature and focusing power of the front surface of the eye (the cornea) very accurately to correct short sight (myopia), long sight (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Three types of procedure are commonly used in the UK:
| What is Laser Vision Correction?
LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is typically performed using two lasers: one (femtosecond laser) to prepare a thin protective layer (the LASIK flap), which is lifted up before a second (excimer laser) removes a lens shaped piece of tissue to reshape the cornea beneath. The protective layer is then smoothed back and sticks in place and without stitches.
| Surface Laser Treatments
Surface laser treatments (PRK, LASEK, and TransPRK) use the same excimer lasers to perform an identical removal of a lens shaped piece of tissue immediately beneath the clear skin layer of the cornea.
The clear skin layer regrows over a period of about a week, then smooths off optically to complete the visual recovery over the next three months. While the skin layer is regrowing, the eye surface is normally very sore. This is one of the main differences between surface laser treatments and LASIK or SMILE, which both aim to keep the corneal skin layer intact.
All surface laser treatments produce similar results, and the only difference between them is the way in which the corneal skin layer is removed. In PRK and LASEK the skin layer is removed by the surgeon – in LASEK dilute alcohol is applied to loosen the skin layer first.
Some modern excimer laser systems are able to remove the skin layer as part of the reshaping treatment. This is called TransPRK. The area of skin layer removal in TransPRK is reduced to the minimum required for reshaping the cornea beneath, shortening recovery time by 1 to 2 days in comparison with PRK and LASEK.
SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) uses a femtosecond laser of the same type used to create a LASIK flap to define a lens shaped piece of tissue that is removed by the surgeon through a small incision to correct focus. This is like LASIK without the LASIK flap, but the thickness of tissue removal is slightly greater and the tissue may be removed from slightly deeper in the cornea. End results are similar to those for LASIK and surface laser treatments
Depending on your examination results, Mr Kopsachilis will determine which type of laser vision correction operation is suitable for you.
| The latest technologies
Kent Eye Centre introduced the very first complete Alcon Wavefront Refractive suite in the UK
The Alcon Wavefront Refractive Suite