Refractive Surgery Overview
Vision correction surgery, also called refractive surgery, is any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in this field. After refractive and laser eye surgery, many patients report seeing better than they had at any other time in their lives.
Most types of vision correction surgery work by reshaping the cornea, or clear front part of the eye, so that light travelling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. Other types involve replacing the eye’s natural lens. There are a number of different types of surgery to improve vision, including:
LASIK : Short for laser in-situ keratomileusis, this laser eye surgery is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. LASIK eye surgery differs from others in that a flap is made in the outer layer of the cornea so that the underlying tissue can be accessed. LASIK may also be done with the addition of computer imaging called wavefront technology to create a detailed image of the cornea and guide for treatment.
PRK/LASEK/EPILASIK Short for photorefractive keratectomy, this laser eye surgery is used to correct moderate nearsightedness, it can correct up to -10.0 D of glass power subject to good corneal thickness of the patient. An epithelial is removed by different technique, then eximer laser delivery is done to reshape cornea to correct the desired glass power, a soft contact lens is placed to assist the epithelial growth to cover the bed of the cornea while it heals.
ICL : It is implantable contact lens, which can be place inside the eye by means of micro cut made on cornea to correct higher power. It is very successful and safe technique, it would correct up to -20.0 D of glass power.
RLE: Short for refractive lens exchange and also known as clear lens extraction, RLE is similar to surgery done for cataracts and involves making a small incision at the edge of the cornea to remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with a silicone or plastic lens. Also called PRELEX, clear lens exchange (CLE), clear lens extraction (CLE), and refractive lens replacement (RLR), RLE is used to correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness. It may be appropriate for people with thin corneas, dry eyes, or other minor problems of the cornea. To correct astigmatism, however, another procedure such as PRK, LASEK, CK, or Epi-LASIK may be needed in addition to RLE.
Intacs: Also known as intracorneal ring segments, or ICR, this procedure involves making a small incision in the cornea and placing two crescent-shaped plastic rings at the outer edge or the cornea. The rings flatten the cornea, changing the way light rays focus on the retina. ICR was used to treat mild nearsightedness as well as nearsightedness but has been replaced by laser-based procedures. Irregular cornea shape from keratoconus, a condition that results in vision loss due to thinning and irregularity in the cornea, is the most common condition treated with intacs.