Refractive surgery refers to any surgical procedures performed to fix vision problems. Most types of vision correction surgery help reshape the cornea, the clear front portion of the eye. The cornea allows light to travel through it and focus appropriately on the back of your eye or retina. Recent developments in this field like refractive and laser eye surgery have enabled many patients to have improved vision.
What Are Refractive Errors?
Refractive errors are vision issues caused mainly by an irregular-shaped cornea or an eye that is longer or shorter than usual. These errors obstruct light from an object not to focus on the retina resulting in a blurred image.
There are four types of refractive errors:
- Myopia or nearsightedness
- Hyperopia or farsightedness
What Are the Types of Refractive Surgeries?
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK helps to correct myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. The procedure includes reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser. Using a computer-controlled excimer cold laser, LASIK has replaced most of the other refractive surgery methods. Recovery for most patients from LASIK surgery is fast, with minor discomfort.
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
This surgery is also done with an excimer laser employed in LASIK. PRK is carried out to reshape the cornea to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness. The excimer laser beam remodels the cornea shape by extracting small amounts of tissue from the outer surface. The surgery uses a computer to map the eye's surface and calculate how much tissue to remove. Because the cornea surface is removed, it would take a few weeks to heal.
Radial keratotomy surgery can correct mild myopia and involves making minor incisions in the cornea with a diamond scalpel. The incisions change the curve of the cornea by flattening its center. This reduces refraction.
- Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)
This procedure helps to correct astigmatism. Instead of making radial cuts, the eye surgeon makes incisions in a curved pattern in the cornea.
- Laser Thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)
LTK technique applies heat from a laser to the corners of the cornea. This reshapes the cornea by shrinking the collagen fibers.
- Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
This surgery is performed to rectify mild to moderate hyperopia. It works by applying heat from low-level radio waves to shrink the collagen and change the cornea's shape. A super-thin probe is used to direct the radio waves around the outer cornea. This creates a tight band that increases the curve of the cornea and improves vision.
- Intracorneal rings (Intacs)
Intacs are thin rings that are surgically inserted into the cornea. They change the curve of the cornea and improve vision from conditions like mild myopia.
If you are considering refractive surgery, visit us at Summerlin Vision in the Las Vegas area, or call at (702) 243-8788 to schedule your appointment. Dr. Civia McCaffrey can discuss your lifestyle and vision needs to determine the most appropriate procedure for you.