Types of Laser Eye Surgery: Options Are Diverse
Many people do not realize laser eye surgery comes in several forms. Providence Eye & Laser Specialists looks at the three kinds of LASIK procedures available and the factors that determine which procedure works best for qualified candidates.
Your LASIK consultation should be conducted by an ophthalmologist who specializes in, laser vision correction surgery. This is the only type of physician who can truly evaluate whether or not laser vision correction is a suitable solution. Dr. Mozayeni considers several factors when determining if someone’s eyes will benefit from a laser procedure. A few examples of what he evaluates are:
- Your vision
- General eye health
- Corneal thickness and structure
- Whether or not you have astigmatism
- Prescription stability
- Overall health of your body
- Medications that you are taking as there are some that need to be discontinued prior to Lasik surgery.
Be sure your laser vision correction surgeon discusses these points before undergoing any type of LASIK surgery. Also, ensure your surgeon is upfront with you about costs beforehand. Be wary of “discounts,” as they are usually too good to be true and often include hidden procedural fees.
There are many types of laser vision correction surgery depending on your age and health of your eyes. But today when people say they want to “get rid of contacts and glasses” they are typically referring to LASIK.
At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, Dr. Mozayeni only performs all laser LASIK (blade free LASIK) procedures. An extremely safe procedure, LASIK has been performed for decades. The technology used to perform LASIK has dramatically improved, moving from using a blade to only using lasers.
Over the past several years, further improvements have maximized safety. In 2003, Dr. Mozayeni was the first corneal specialists to offer all-laser LASIK in the Charlotte region. Then in 2011 Dr. Mozayeni invested in the most recently FDA approved state-of-the-art laser so that he could provide increased LASIK procedural precision and improved patient comfort in Dr. Mozayeni’s office. All laser, blade free eye surgery uses the latest state-of-the-art Wavelight technology.
At Providence Eye, a painless corneal flap is created using the WaveLight FS200 Laser, followed by corneal reshaping via the WaveLight EX500 Laser. The LASIK procedure itself only lasts for 10-15 minutes, eliminates blade complications, expedites surgery time and maximizes patient comfort. This procedure bodes well for those with normal corneal structure, satisfactory corneal thickness and a stable prescription that has not shifted in at least a year.
What does it mean if your surgeon says you are a not a good LASIK candidate and they recommend PRK? What does that mean?
PRK All Laser No Flap LASIK
During your vision correction consultation, your laser vision correction surgeon may determine LASIK is not an appropriate procedure for you. This could be due to corneal thickness issues, prescription instability or numerous other factors. In this case, PRK LASIK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) may be suggested.
Dr. Mozayeni recommends PRK LASIK to approximately 20% of people who come in for a vision correction consultation. PRK uses the same technology as LASIK, but no flap is created hence only one laser is used. Instead of a flap, a very small area of corneal skin is quickly and painlessly removed. This allows the same laser used in LASIK surgeries to correct a patient’s vision via the underlying tissue. A protective contact lens is placed on your eye and over the next few days, the tissue regrows.
PRK can be a suitable laser eye surgery for those with underlying ocular weakness, irregular corneal shape and thinner corneal tissue. Using a book analogy, envision a small area of a book cover. Picture the cover being removed, and then starting with page one, a few pages of the book being removed. Finally, imagine the book cover regenerating itself over the span of a few days.
What if you are over the age of 40 and need both distance and near vision corrected? In this case your surgeon may recommend Monovision which can be created doing LASIK or PRK.
For people specifically looking to correct near and distance vision, monovision could be an ideal option for vision correction surgery. Monovision can be achieved with either LASIK or PRK. Monovision eye surgery refocuses the eyes. Non-dominant eyes are adapted for near vision while dominant eyes are set for distance vision. Afterward, the brain adjusts to the vision changes so the patient can regain normal seeing abilities. Dr. Mozayeni and his contact lens experts always have patients “test drive” monovision with temporary contact lenses for two weeks, to ensure the brain adjusts accordingly.
Determining if you are a good candidate for any laser eye surgery is always the most crucial step. Dr. Mozayeni and his team recommend you:
- Research websites of vision correction surgeons in your area
- Compare and contrast surgeon experience, technology, patient care philosophy & pricing
- Ask your friends and family for advice
- Read online reviews
- Get a second opinion
Most importantly, research and visit the LASIK eye surgeon who would perform your procedure for a comprehensive consultation before undergoing any eye surgery. This will ensure they are reputable, able, honest and ethical. To schedule your free LASIK consultation with Dr. Mozayeni, contact us today!