The most popular alternative to LASIK eye surgery is PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratotomy). If you're not an ideal candidate for LASIK eye surgery, PRK could be an option that you may want to consider. PRK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
If you have been doing some LASIK research you may come across a term called PRK. PRK is a form of laser vision correction that was actually FDA approved before LASIK eye surgery and may have potential benefits for you. PRK was the first laser refractive surgery approved by the FDA receiving final approval in 1995. PRK is a refractive eye surgery procedure that utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism much like LASIK eye surgery. Once the cornea has flattened, light rays are more easily focused upon the retina. PRK differs from LASIK in that no flap of tissue is created prior to resculpting the cornea with the excimer laser. In LASIK this flap creation does enable a faster recovery period.
The procedure can be performed once the eye has been numbed with anesthetic drops. A speculum will be positioned to hold your eyelids back just like in LASIK so that you eyelids will not interrupt the actual surgery. The ophthalmologist will then remove the outer cornea cells and proceed with the actual laser treatment. The laser is then positioned to directly treat the cornea. This laser delivery takes less than one minute to complete for most patients. Once the laser treatment or refractive ablation is completed, the corneal curvature is reshaped, thus improving the refractive error. Your ophthalmologist will then place a bandage contact lens on the eye for improved comfort along with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops.
Post-operatively, our patients will be re-evaluated one day, three days, one week, one month, two to three months, and four to six months following the PRK procedure. The bandage contact lens can usually be removed on the second or third post-operative day when the epithelium is healed. Most patients will only require eye drops to control healing during the first 6 to 12 weeks, but other patients may require topically applied medications for up to 6 months or more following the procedure. In general, the greater the refractive error, the more likely the patient is to require eye drop medications for a prolonged period following the procedure.
If you have always wanted LASIK, but have been told you’re not a candidate because you are too nearsighted or your corneas are too thin, your answer could be the Visian ICL™. We can now help many people who we previously could not help see without their glasses and contacts!
The Visian ICL™ is an implantable lens made of a soft biocompatible material, similar to that of a soft contact lens. Unlike a contact lens, the ICL is permanently positioned inside your eye behind the iris (the colored part of your eye) and in front of the natural lens. In this position, the ICL remains invisible and corrects your vision without causing many of the optical aberrations that occur from laser treatments to the cornea for higher degrees of nearsightedness.
The Visian ICL offers vision correction that’s sharper, clearer, more vivid, and has greater depth and dimension than other procedures. The main advantage of the Visian ICL over traditional corrective laser eye surgery is that patients may experience significant improvement in quality of vision after the lens is implanted 1. When compared to the results of corneal refractive surgery, the Visian ICL may produce superior vision quality as evidenced by fewer higher order aberrations 2. Patients experience a nearly immediate visual recovery and “Wow!” results.
• Wide Treatment Range
The Visian ICL has proven to be effective in patients within a wide range of refractive errors. In fact, the Visian ICL can correct myopia from as low as -3.0 diopters to -16.0 diopters and reduce myopia from -16.0 diopters up to as high as -20.0 diopters with or without astigmatism. Before now, some of these individuals were not candidates for surgical eye correction. Clinical studies have shown how the Visian ICL is truly a breakthrough myopia treatment in terms of vision correction results. Because implantation of the phakic IOL does not require any structural alteration of the eye, results are predictable and very stable.
• Technologically Advanced Lens Material
Unlike other phakic IOLs, the Visian ICL is made from Collamer, a technologically advanced lens material exclusive to STAAR Surgical Company.
• Exceptional Patient Experience
• Simple, Safe & Invisible Lens
Because the Visian ICL is implanted in the posterior chamber, behind the iris, unlike other phakic IOLs, the lens is invisible to both the patient and any observer. Also, its positioning in the eye maintains normal iris function, promotes stability, and may reduce potential complications.
• The “Wow” Factor
After the simple 15-minute outpatient procedure, patients experience an immediate improvement in vision quality and are “Wowed” by the results.
Not every eye surgeon in our area can be certified for this lens implant. Because Dr. Vance Thompson is one of the nations leading edge ophthalmologists he has been selected and furthermore certified to implant the Visian ICL. Please contact our office directly if you feel this is a good option for you.
If you have been told that LASIK eye surgery is not a good idea because you are presbyopic, it does not mean that vision correction is not possible it just means that LASIK is not the best option. This is typically stated because LASIK will correct vision for one distance. Although some ophthalmologists claim that multifocal LASIK is available this is really nothing more than monovision. Monovision means making one eye see at distance while the other is used for close up.
Presbyopia is something that happens to all of us as we age. If you have developed presbyopia it may have started around age 40. Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus, making it difficult to see objects up close. If you all of a sudden you did not need glasses and now cannot see up close you may have started to get presbyopia. This condition is not even correctable by laser vision correction. Fortunately, a surgical option called refractive lens exchange can correct this issue. Refractive lens exchange is allowing patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens implant
What Are the Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange?
There are several advantages to the refractive lens exchange procedure, including:
Refractive Lens Exchange uses the same technique used in cataract surgery. This technique has been used for decades and is the best method for cataract removal and lens insertion. During the surgical procedure the patient is first prepped using a local anesthetic and drops. After the eye has been sterilized the surgeon will make a 2.5 to 3 millimeter incision in the eye. In order to see inside the eye our doctors perform this delicate surgery with a powerful magnifying microscope. A device known as the emulsifier is inserted to the eye and begins to remove the natural lens. Once all of the lens material has been evacuated a foldable intraocular lens is inserted in the same place as the old lens. Refractive lens exchange is performed on an outpatient basis and only one eye is treated at a time. After the surgery is complete you will be required to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Most patients report rapid visual improvement immediately after surgery.
Following your refractive lensectomy, the recovery will be fast and in most cases dramatically noticeable. The day after surgery most patients are able to perform normal activities with their new vision. Most patients do experience some temporary blurriness for the first few days and also may experience some light sensitivity for the first few weeks. Sunglasses are recommended to be worn more often than usual. Since the lensectomy is an intraocular surgery, there is a risk of complication that may occur.
In order to be a patient for a refractive lensectomy you must have a high prescription for short-sightedness or long-sightedness, meaning has to be much greater than what LASIK could treat. The procedure also is suitable for some patients who have a low prescription but are developing a cataract that will need to be removed in the near future. Our South Dakota eye doctors will discuss surgery options with you and make sure you are a strong candidate for any procedure recommended.
Because Refractive Lens Exchange is a procedure using the same technique as cataract surgery the procedure is regarded as relatively safe and effective. Although AAO guidelines prohibit ophthalmologists from calling this surgery safe it is clear that millions of eyes have received intraocular lens implants during cataract surgery and have had successful outcomes. With the advent of the new multifocal IOL, patients experience excellent vision after surgery. The main difference between these two surgical types is that one is for cataract removal and the other for insertion prior to a ripened cataract.