Types of Laser Eye Surgery
Many types of laser eye surgery are now available for correcting vision. Which one is right for you depends on your specific needs.
Here is a brief overview of four of the most common types of laser eye surgery services offered by Michigan Eye Institute.
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1. LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery, also called refractive surgery, is the most popular form of corrective eye surgery. It is also one of the safest and most effective elective procedures for vision correction.
The surgery is performed in office by a computerized laser that cuts out a flap on the cornea and reshapes it underneath, causing light to focus more directly on the retina. This greatly reduces and, for most people, eliminates the need for corrective lenses. LASIK resolves issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
2. HLASIK (LASIK for Hyperopia)
HLASIK, or LASIK for hyperopia, is essentially the same procedure as regular LASIK surgery. The difference is that HLASIK is specialized for hyperopia, astigmatism with hyperopia, mixed astigmatism, and in some cases, presbyopia. The specializations include a more precise laser zone and new ablation techniques. This was a huge step forward in laser vision correction. Previously, the risk of regression and vision loss for those beyond a certain point of hyperopia was very great.
3. PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is the predecessor to LASIK surgery although it is still widely performed. Although recovery time is longer for PRK than it is for LASIK, some patients benefit more from receiving PRK due to their own individual circumstances.
The procedures are very similar to one another. In LASIK the bit of cornea that is lifted off to perform the correction is replaced, while during PRK, the portion of cornea is removed and discarded. A computerized laser is still used to remove microscopic amounts of cornea, thus reshaping it to provide improved vision.
PRK or EBK (Epi-Bowman’s Keratectomy) become the laser surgeries of choice if you have previously had LASIK, if you have a thin cornea, or if you need a larger area of your eye worked on due to your current refraction levels.
HPRK is to PRK as HLASIK is to LASIK; it all comes down to your specific vision needs. It is laser eye surgery for those who have hyperopia, astigmatism with hyperopia, and mixed astigmatism. HPRK is performed when the risks and results of a PRK type procedure would outweigh the risks and results of a LASIK type procedure. As aforementioned, this is often the case when LASIK or HLASIK has been previously performed or if the cornea is too thin. HPRK is the surgery of choice if a previously performed LASIK surgery has caused acquired hyperopia.
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