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A Few Notes About LASIK

The LASIK Laser procedure combines a thirty year history of lamellar surgery for the correction of myopia with the precision of the excimer laser. Lamellar surgery encompasses a number of procedures (including ALK), which surgically alter the corneal curvature through removal or addition of tissue. LASIK improves the curvature of the cornea by reshaping the inner layers of corneal tissue with the excimer laser, rather than by re-contouring the corneal surface, as with PRK.

Ideal LASIK candidates are:

  • People with extreme prescriptions (>-6.00D myopia, or >-3.00D astigmatism). All patients above -4.00D of myopia should consider LASIK as an alternative to PRK.
    People who have specific eye or general health problems (including lupus, severe dry eyes, rheumatoid arthritis), which make them ineligible for PRK. LASIK patients' post-operative process is not affected by these conditions.
    People who require rapid visual recovery.

If you have opted to have the excimer laser procedure, then together with your doctor, you can assess which type will be better for you, PRK or LASIK. The decision will be made during a pre-operative consultation, and will be based on your eye measurements and clinical history. However, even if you have made the decision to have LASIK, you may not turn out to be a candidate at the time of the procedure. The final decision to proceed with LASIK is dependent upon certain eye measurements taken at the actual time of the procedure, and will be made by your doctor.

Advantages of LASIK:

The post-operative risks of the LASIK procedure are similar in type to those involved with the PRK procedure, however, the statistical probability of many of them occurring are significantly reduced with LASIK.

There are basically five main advantages to LASIK versus PRK. These are:

  • 1) Ability to correct severe and extreme cases of myopia (up to -35.00D) and astigmatism (up to -8.00D), with greater predictability of results and decreased probability of regression.
    2) Reduced risk of healing haze, or scar tissue
    3) Reduced risk of post-operative infection
    4) Reduced risk of post-operative pain
    5) Faster visual recovery--this allows both eyes to be safely treated within days of each other.

Due to the fact that LASIK involves the inner layers of corneal tissue, there is a higher degree of risk during the procedure itself than with PRK. The procedural risk that raises the greatest level of concern among people is perforation of the eye. There are no known cases, where an eye has actually been perforated during the LASIK procedure.

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