Types of Laser Eye Surgery
There are many different types of laser eye surgeries available that cater to specific vision and health problems. The procedure best for you can only be determined by your ocular health professional, so if laser eye surgery is something you’d like to pursue, please talk to your optometrist.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, is a popular procedure suitable for individuals with very thin corneas. The procedure is done to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
During the procedure, your surgeon uses a laser called an excimer laser to remove the epithelium (your cornea’s outer layer). Your surgeon will then reshape the corneal tissue underneath to correct the refractive error that’s causing your blurred vision. This may involve steepening the curve, flattening it, or smoothing the surface. They’ll then place a bandage contact lens over the top to protect your cornea and speed up the healing process.
Your vision will be very poor as your eyes heal for up to a week. As they heal, your vision will improve. It can take up to a month for your eyes to fully recover.
Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy (LASEK)
Laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy, or LASEK, is a refractive surgery that combines other surgeries’ techniques and benefits. LASEK is an effective combination of PRK and LASIK surgeries to reduce the chances of developing dry eye and other complications.
With LASEK, a very thin layer of epithelial tissue is created using an alcohol diluted solution. The flap is folded back to allow a laser to restructure the corneal tissue below, and the flap is replaced. Antibiotic eye drops are applied, and a bandage contact lens is placed over the top to protect the eye and promote healing.
Healing times with LASEK are similar to a LASIK procedure, with all notable healing taking place in the first week following surgery. Your vision should improve significantly within a week after the procedure.