LASIK is the most common type of refractive eye surgery done today.
LASIK corrects myopia (near sightedness) hyperopia (far sightedness) and astigmatism to improve vision without glasses or contact lenses.
The operation is performed by making a thin flap on the surface of the cornea exposing the corneal layers underneath.
An excimer laser is then programmed to reshape the cornea using the laser light energy. The thin flap is then repositioned covering the treated area which then heals quickly.
Most patients have very little pain or discomfort and are able to function normally in just a few days.
In traditional LASIK the flap is made with a microkeratome, a mechanical instrument using a surgical blade.
The flap can also be made with a special laser we call Intralase which uses laser energy and not a surgical blade. Thinner flaps can be created more safely. Special laser treatments called custom or wavefront guided are often used to treat minor imperfections of the eye.
We call these imperfections higher order aberrations. A scan is made of the eye to determine which treatment is best for any individual person. PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy) is the original excimer laser treatment. It may be recommended for patients who have thinner than normal corneas.
The laser treatment is applied directly to the surface of the eye, without making the cornea flap.
Post-operative healing takes longer and is more uncomfortable than LASIK, but may be best choice in some patients. Military pilots may require PRK.
Dr. Charlton has had this procedure done on himself. He can explain the expectations and results to each patient.