Laser Eye Surgery

Laser refractive surgery or laser eye surgery is constantly advancing with new technology. If you’re looking to get rid of glasses and contacts, there are three types of laser eye surgeries that might be an option for you. All three of these laser eye surgeries have one thing in common, and that is that they’re reshaping the cornea, which is the front part of the eye.

Is PRK, LASIK or SMILE Right for You?

  1. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). PRK was the first laser refractive surgery, and is still performed today. During PRK laser eye surgery, the ophthalmologist removes the epithelium (the surface of the eye) and applies an excimer laser to resurface, blade or vaporize the tissue on the surface of the cornea.  There’s a much longer recovery time after the PRK procedure as compared to SMILE or LASIK – up to eight weeks. Patients require a bandaged contact lens following the procedure as the epithelium has been removed.
  2. LASIK. During the LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon uses a thin blade laser to cut a flap of the cornea instead of removing the epithelium. The ophthalmologist lifts the flap up, applies the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and puts the flap back down.
  3. SMILE. The SMILE procedure involves using a femtosecond laser to cut a little wafer of tissue inside the cornea and remove it through a very small incision.

What to Expect After Laser Eye Surgery

With SMILE and LASIK laser eye procedures, the recovery time is shorter than with PRK, generally with minimal pain or discomfort. Overall, laser eye surgery is very safe. There’s a small risk that you may develop dry eyes, glare and halos after your procedure. There is a very small risk that you could get an infection, but the vast majority of patients experience great vision, if not better than 20/20, after having had any of these surgeries.

If you consult with an optometrist or ophthalmologist about laser refractive surgery, he or she will ensure that your cornea is thick enough, that you don’t have any abnormal curvatures and that your eyes are healthy enough for the procedure. In the absence of any eye conditions such as keratoconus, somebody with a prescription of +3 to about -10 is a candidate for laser eye surgery.

Consult with an ophthalmologist to see if laser refractive surgery is right for you.

3 Important Things to Remember

  1. There’s a much longer recovery time after the PRK procedure as compared to SMILE or LASIK – up to eight weeks.
  2. In the absence of any eye conditions such as keratoconus, somebody with a prescription of +3 to about -10 is a candidate for laser eye surgery.
  3. Following the procedure, there’s a small risk that you may develop dry eyes, glare and halos, and a very small risk that you could get an infection. HCF