Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery is a type of surgical procedure that is performed to correct vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The goal of refractive surgery is to improve the patient’s vision by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye.

There are several types of refractive surgery, including:

  1. LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis): This is the most commonly performed type of refractive surgery. In LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap is then lifted, and an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea, correcting the patient’s vision. The flap is then repositioned and allowed to heal.
  2. PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): In PRK, the surface layer of the cornea is removed using an excimer laser, and the underlying cornea is reshaped to correct the patient’s vision. PRK is an older procedure than LASIK and is used less frequently, but it may be preferred in certain cases, such as if the patient has a thin cornea.
  3. LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis): LASEK is a variation of PRK in which a thin flap of the surface layer of the cornea is created and lifted, allowing the underlying cornea to be reshaped with an excimer laser. The flap is then repositioned and allowed to heal.
  4. SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): SMILE is a newer type of refractive surgery that uses a femtosecond laser to create a small incision in the cornea and remove a small piece of tissue, reshaping the cornea and correcting the patient’s vision.

Refractive surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis and can often be completed in under an hour. It is important to have a thorough consultation with an ophthalmologist to determine if you are a good candidate for refractive surgery and which procedure is best for your individual needs.

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