Laser refractive eye surgery, popularly called “laser vision correction” or “laser diopter removal”, a term for various acts of correcting the dipter by shaping the cornea of the eye. Laser eye surgery is the most common ophthalmic surgery performed in the world in the last 10 years.
MORE Everything you wanted to know about laser eye surgery
Thinking of laser surgery?
LASIK EXPERIENCE – FIRST HAND STORY
The two most popular forms of laser refractive surgery are LASIK and PRK methods.
LASIK is today the most common form of eye surgery, because it gives excellent results immediately after surgery, and studies have shown that patients are more satisfied after LASIK than after PRK methods (less postoperative pain and faster recovery of vision).
LASIK surgery is very short and painless, a single method of laser vision correction consists of two phases. In the first phase, a sealing layer of cornea is formed, and in the second phase the laser removes the diopter, and the sealing starts self-healing. As a rule, both eyes are operated at once. Recovery is quick and vision returns to normal practically the next day.
PRK method is applied mainly at lower diopters and with thinner corneas. During surgery, the epithelium is removed from the surface of the cornea and laser directly removes diopters without cutting the cornea. In the postoperative period after PRK method, the corneal epithelium spontaneously knits together in 2-3 days. With PRK method, the recovery is longer, but – as with LASIK – both eyes are operated simultaneously. The recovery of vision takes up to 3-4 weeks.
Advantages of PRK methods:
- can be applied on thin corneas (less than 550 microns)
- occurrence of dry eye is expressed in a much smaller percentage than after the LASIK method
- dripping of artificial tears last for a shorter period of time, on average 2-3 months after the surgery.
Transient dryness occurs in all patients and lasts about a month. The patient feels pinching, has the feeling of sand in the eyes, and the feeling is being mitigated with regular drip of artificial tears 6-8 times a day.
Other complications are rare (fewer than 2% of operated patients), and manifest themselves in the form of a part of the diopter returning, the ingrowth of epithelial cells under the sealing or in the form micro marks on the eye. These complications cannot be predicted, because they depend on individual tissue healing potential. To prevent complications, it requires a careful selection of patients, detailed history and a thorough examination before surgery.
MORE: What if I sneeze during laser vision correction?
Prejudices about laser vision correction
You’re a good candidate for laser vision correction if you are over 18 and have a stable diopter. The laser can correct diopters in a range:
- myopia up to -10.0 diopters,
- farsight to +5.0 diopters,
- astigmatism up to 4.0 diopters of cylinder.
Laser vision correction is not recommended to candidate with diseases:
- cornea (keratoconus)
- autoimmune connective tissue diseases
- during pregnancy or breastfeeding.