Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a surgical procedure meant to correct a patient’s vision so they never have to struggle with glasses or contact lenses again. Although it is a safe and effective vision correction procedure, not every patient is a good fit for LASIK.
Luckily, Eye Center of Texas offers more LASIK surgery options available to help improve eyesight in a wider number of people than ever before, making better vision accessible to even those previously unable to undergo the process.
What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK surgery uses a thin, precise laser to reshape the cornea and improve a patient’s overall vision. It’s a quick, painless outpatient procedure that takes around 15 minutes to complete. LASIK does not require full anesthesia. Rather, all it requires is a little localized anesthetic usually administered via eye drops.
Some of the conditions LASIK can treat include astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), and farsightedness (hyperopia).
There are a few different alternatives to LASIK, such as PRK and EVO Visian ICL, so patients seeking vision correction surgery still have options even if they don’t qualify for LASIK itself.
What are the different types of LASIK surgery?
There are three major LASIK surgery options, each one taking a different approach to restoring eyesight.
Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK) is very similar to traditional LASIK, however, it is better suited for people with thin corneas who may have had unpleasant side effects with LASIK. Rather than cutting open the flap in the cornea, the surgeon will use an alcohol solution to lift the tissue away from the eye, fold it back, and then reshape the cornea’s inner layers to correct any vision impairments. Although the healing process is a tad slower, patients will likely not experience dry eye as they would with LASIK.
What is PRK surgery? Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, is similar to LASIK in that it involves reshaping the cornea but follows a different path. The surgeon removes the top layer of the cornea and uses a pulsing ultraviolet laser on the surface of the cornea to reshape it rather than underneath the corneal flap. The top layer cornea eventually grows back over the reshaped internal layers. PRK is better suited for those who have thin corneas or dry eyes as it reduces the risk of corneal flap-related complications.
EVO Visian ICL
EVO Visian ICL is a relatively new procedure often used in patients for whom LASIK or PRK are not the most ideal options. Unlike these similar surgeries, it involves the implantation of an EVO lens rather than a corneal reshaping and the lens can be removed at any time by your doctor. The process for EVO Visian ICL proceeds as follows:
- The surgeon cuts a hole in the cornea.
- The new biocompatible, flexible Collamer® lens is inserted into the hole.
- The lens is positioned properly over the cornea’s internal layers.
While LASIK and PRK procedures take around 15 minutes or so, EVO Visian ICL usually wraps in about 20 to 30 minutes.
What makes an ideal LASIK candidate?
LASIK, PRK, and EVO Visian ICL are all extremely common procedures, but they can’t be performed on everyone requiring vision correction. The first stage of any consultation for these procedures is always an eye exam. From there, your doctor will make a 3D map of your eye to get a comprehensive understanding of its geography. These tests determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for LASIK.
The ideal LASIK candidate has the following qualities:
- Is 18+ years of age
- Is in good overall health
- Does not suffer from an eye disease such as glaucoma or cataracts
- Has had no significant changes to eyesight or condition for a year or more
- Has an eye shape conducive to undergoing the procedure in question
By contrast, LASIK may not be performed on the following patients:
- People under the age of 18
- People who are pregnant
- People with autoimmune diseases
- People with eye infections
- People with thin corneas
- People with thick or otherwise unusually large pupils
LASIK surgery risks
Although safe, quick, and painless, LASIK and related procedures are not without their risks. Before deciding to undergo the surgery and say goodbye to glasses or contact lenses, it’s important to know the following possible side effects:
- Dry eyes (not an issue with LASEK, PRK, or EVO Visian ICL)
- Light sensitivity
- Decreased night vision
One of the most important questions to ask during LASIK consultation involves these risks. Don’t commit to the surgery without being fully informed about both the positives and the negatives associated with it.
How long does it take to recover from LASIK?
As outpatient procedures, LASIK, PRK, and EVO Visian ICL don’t require overnight hospitalization for monitoring and recovery. Every patient’s recovery time will be different owing to factors such as their age and overall health, so your doctor should give you a personalized timeline of what a normal healing time frame and process will look like for you specifically.
Most patients will start seeing the full results of their surgeries within a few days. However, the recovery time typically goes faster with EVO Visian ICL, and many patients report experiencing immediate results. You may be asked to refrain from certain activities such as swimming, wearing eye makeup, and exercising for a few weeks while your eyes recover regardless of which procedure you undergo.
Eye Center of Texas offers multiple LASIK surgery options in Greater Houston
Regardless of which procedure your doctor recommends, Eye Center of Texas offers multiple types of eye surgery to correct vision. We have the answers to common questions such as, “Can you use HSA for LASIK?” and anything else that may be on your mind regarding the commitment. For more information about LASIK surgery options and to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us.
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