If you’ve thought about vision correction surgery, also called refractive eye surgery, you should know that there are many options available which are different types of laser surgery. There’s the popular and well-known LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), but also wavefront-guided LASIK and Epi-Lasik, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis).
The scope of vision problems that can be corrected with refractive eye surgery has expanded greatly in the past few decades. Refractive problems that can be corrected include nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism (unevenly curved cornea), and farsightedness (hyperopia).
LASIK works by changing the shape of the cornea – the clear portion of the front of the eye – so that light rays focus on the retina and improve vision. A thin flap is created in the cornea. The exposed corneal surface is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced.
Epi-LASIK is an alternative to traditional LASIK, in which an instrument called an epi-keratome is used to separate a very thin sheet of the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea, which is then moved aside so that the cornea can be sculpted for vision correction.
Wavefront-guided LASIK uses the most advanced technology to address the finer imperfections in the eye. This type of LASIK involves measuring the eye from front to back with a special laser, using what’s called wavefront technology, to create a three-dimensional (3-D) image of the eye. The information contained in the wavefront map guides the laser in customizing the treatment to your individual visual system.
PRK was the first form of laser vision correction surgery. PRK differs from LASIK in that the surgeon does not create a flap. PRK is a good option for patients with thin corneas.
LASEK combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries, notably LASIK and PRK. LASEK can be a good option for patients with thin or unusually shaped corneas.
If you’re a candidate for refractive eye surgery, the surgery should be tailored not only to your vision problems, but also to factors such as age, occupation and lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all surgery. To find out more about vision correction in Seattle, contact Bellevue LASIK & Cataract at 425-450-6990 or bellevue-lasik.com to schedule your consultation with Dr. Leavitt.