USA Surgery Guide

California Laser Eye Surgery

Laser Eye Surgery
Often times refractive surgery and laser eye surgery are thought to be the same procedure, but in fact they are not. Refractive surgery is the procedure where the eye is manipulated to improve vision and eliminate the necessities of glasses or contact lenses. Lasers are used in these procedures as well as in procedures where a retinal tear is sealed. On the other hand radial keratotomy is an eye surgery where lasers are not used.

There are currently different kinds of laser eye surgeries available. Many of these have recently been developed and require the usage of a laser. Corneal Onlays or Inlays surgery allow the blending of the eye surface. Epi-LASIK removes the outer layer of the cornea by the use of a specific cutting instrument. Custom Wavefront LASIK is also an option.

IntraLase Bladeless LASIK does not use a cutting blade but instead uses a second laser during the eye surgery. PresbyLASIK is a specific eye surgery using laser equipment for presbyopes. LASIK surgery does not cut the outer layer of the cornea to create a flap and is often for those with thin corneas. PRK is the most common laser eye surgery and is preferred by most eye surgeons.

Use of Surgery
During refractive eye surgery a physician will reshape the cornea, which allows the focus and vision of the eye to increase. In laser surgery this is done using a laser rather than in other procedures that use a diamond-shaped knife. Despite LASIK -- laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis -- surgery being a common procedure, it does not come without risks. Not all who wear contact lenses or glasses are eligible for this surgery.

The laser used in laser eye surgery uses light energy that creates electric currents. Thermal lasers allow the light to heat itself upon contacting with the eye. The heat created seals small blood vessels that can often leak fluid or bleed. Abnormal tissue can also be destroyed using a laser as well as allow the retina to re-bond within the eye itself. Abnormal tissue can include tumors.

Photodisruptive lasers sculpt or cut tissue using light. This kind laser can reach into the eye and remove small membranes that can be blocking an individual's vision. Photoablative lasers have the ability to reshape the cornea's surface. This kind of procedure is most common and corrects farsightedness, astigmatism, and nearsightedness. Unlike other eye surgeries, laser surgery allows precise control and lowers the risk of infection as well as tissue damage during and after surgery.

Retinal repair includes repairing the separation of the back of the eye. In these cases krypton or argon lasers are used. The laser used will bond the detached retina back to the eye wall. This is only a possibility when the retina has not fully been detached and there is a tear in the retina. Eye lasers can also be used for the treatment of glaucoma. This is only possible if the damage occurs to the optic nerve. In these cases the laser will make small openings to drain excess fluid.