Refractive surgery refers to those procedures performed by medical doctors of ophthalmology to change the power of the eye. By so doing, one is attempting to become less dependent on glasses or contact lens. Several techniques for altering the eyes’ power have been in use for over twenty years. The following is a list of some of the more popular procedures which one of the doctors at Premier Eye Care would be happy to discuss with you.
The excimer laser is a very short wavelength of invisible light that vaporizes any tissue onto which it is aimed. The laser is a very precise technology that is capable of removing tissue in very thin sections. The excimer laser has been FDA approved for use in ophthalmology to reshape the cornea (the clear covering on the eye) since the mid-1990s. This change in the corneal shape changes the power of the eye and is capable of altering nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The excimer laser can be delivered to the cornea either directly to the surface through the surface layer of epithelial cells (PRK) or deeper in the corneal stroma (LASIK). Both procedures, PRK and LASIK, are in current use to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK and LASIK are performed as outpatient procedures in a comfortable office setting. The procedure takes less than ten minutes per eye. You are awake during the surgery but the eye itself is anesthetized so that there is minimal or no discomfort during the treatment. While visual recovery varies from individual to individual, most patients are able to return to their usual activities in 1-3 days.
While no procedure is risk-free, the excimer laser is associated with very few risks. Premier Eye Care, PA has been performing refractive surgery with the excimer laser since FDA approval of the laser in 1997 and we have many satisfied patients enjoying life without the need for glasses or contact lens. Call our office for a free LASIK screening or schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam to discuss laser surgery with one of our physicians. You may get more information about the excimer laser by visiting the website of VISX, the manufacturer of the most popular excimer laser.
Radial Keratotomy-RK Radial keratotomy (RK) involves the use of a blade to make linear incisions into the cornea. These incisions weaken the peripheral cornea causing the central cornea to flatten reducing nearsightedness. Because of progressive effects on the power of the eye throughout life, RK is rarely performed today.