Laser Vision Correction is eye surgery performed with the use of a special laser rather than a surgical scalpel. A skilled and experienced surgeon guides the laser to precisely shape the cornea or remove tiny amounts of tissue. Laser Vision Correction is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Often, people who are myopic (nearsighted) or hyperopic (farsighted) are candidates for laser vision correction.
Types of Laser Vision Correction
The three most common types of laser vision correction are LASIK, PRK, LASEK and RK.
LASIK is the most common and well-known vision correction surgery, and is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In LASIK a flap is cut over the outer layer of the cornea, then the laser is used to reshape the cornea to the correct shape.
In PRK, no flap is made; the laser is used on the outer layer of the cornea to shape it correctly.
In LASEK, a flap is made, but it is not as thick as with LASIK.
RK involves making tiny cuts in the cornea to reduce nearsightedness.
Your eye surgeon will advise you about which surgical technique is right for you.
As with any surgery, complications are possible. One possibility is that the cornea is not reshaped properly, causing continued vision problems. With LASIK, dry eyes are a common issue post-surgery. LASIK affects tear production, so they may feel dry as they are healing. Infection from creating a flap may occur with LASIK or LASEK. Because millions of these procedures have been performed, experienced surgeons are knowledgeable about preventing complications and managing them if they occur.
Any and all surgical procedures should be taken seriously. Even after the doctor has answered any questions you might have, you should take some time and think it over before committing to surgery.