For the last several decades we have had the advantage of using lasers to perform visual correction. The most frequently used laser is called Excimer and works by removing tissue and reshaping the cornea in a controlled manner. The process is called ablation, and it has evolved from a conventional treatment based on subjective information, to a very precise, customized, computer guided technique that utilizes Wavefront Analysis. This technology provides individualized treatments that correct optical aberrations and minimize undesired side effects such as difficulty with night vision and decreased contrast sensitivity. In addition, modern lasers are capable of following the movements of the eye during treatment, which allows for laser pulses to be applied in the exact location they are needed.
LASIK requires the creation of a thin corneal flap under which the excimer laser is applied. In contrast, PRK is limited to the corneal surface. Both procedures yield excellent and stable results in a properly scrutinized patient. However, LASIK recovery time is much faster. PRK is usually performed on patients with thinner corneas or pre-existing dry eye because it allows for the preservation of deeper corneal tissue and corneal innervation. PRK is also a procedure of choice whenever we want to purposely remove superficial irregular corneal layers in certain corneal conditions.
Yes. One size does not fit all when it comes to refractive surgery. Depending on the factors mentioned previously, you may qualify for other surgical options, which in some cases may offer results that are even better than laser vision correction.