Types of Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK, LASEK, PRK, INTRALASIK)

There are different types of laser eye surgery. The most commonly used method is Lasik eye surgery. Other methods are: PRK, IntraLasik and Lasek (with an “E”)

All these surgical procedures are aimed at correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism by reshaping the cornea.

Lasik Laser Eye Surgery

Lasik eye surgery is the most popular eye surgery and the preferred surgical procedure by physicians and patients.  The main reason for this is the fact that Lasik has high rates of success and a quick recovery for patients. Lasik eye surgery is a treatment that remodels the cornea; the operation is done in several steps.  In the first step, the doctor (ophthalmologist) removes and sets aside a small portion of the corneal surface or corneal flap. Then with the help of the excimer laser, the doctor “polishes” or “sculpts” the corneal tissue. In the last step, the corneal flap which had previously been withdrawn is placed back to its original position.

PRK Laser Eye Surgery

The main difference between PRK laser surgery and Lasik laser surgery is the fact that PRK technology does not separate the corneal flap as does the Lasik technique. With the PRK procedure, the outer layer of cells in the cornea is removed with a solution based on alcohol. Then, the doctor remodels the cornea with the laser. This technique is particularly suitable for patients who have thin corneas and who cannot get Lasik eye surgery. The time of recovery is slower than that of other methods such as Lasik. During recovery, patients should have their eyes covered with special contact lenses.

Lasek (with an “E”)

The eye surgery called Lasek (also known as epithelial E-Lasek or Lasik) is a type of PRK. In Lasek, a knife is used first to cut the thinnest corneal flap. After this, the ophthalmologist applies a solution of alcohol and water to the eye to loosen the epithelium. This surgical procedure is recommended primarily for those patients who have a very thin or soft cornea, and who could have complications if they followed other eye surgeries such as the Lasik technique.

IntraLasik Laser Surgery

The IntraLasik surgery has been developed to correct some of the problems which exist with other laser surgery methods such as Lasek and Lasik. IntraLasik is a mixture of both techniques, although with a few differences. With IntraLasik laser surgery, the corneal flap is cut very thin, but with an oscillating blade. Then, the doctor does not use the alcohol solution to loosen the epithelium but uses a plastic knife instead.

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