Refractive Surgeries

Refractive surgeries change the shape of your eye and reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses. These are outpatient procedures (meaning they do not require an overnight hospital stay) that can take from a few minutes to a few hours to perform. Whether a particular surgery is right for you or not depends on stability, age, health, and even your expectations.

There are basically five refractive surgeries:

1)  Radial Keratotomy (RK)

* Can help people with mild to moderate myopia.
* A long-standing, evolved procedure.
* Tiny spoke-like incisions are make in the cornea, flattening it, making distant object clearer.

2)  Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)

* Can help people with astigmatism.
* A long-standing, evolved procedure.
* Curved or straight incisions are made in the cornea to round out the oval shape of the eye, reducing distortion.

3)  Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty
(ALK or LK)

* May help people with moderate to high myopia.
* Topmost layers of the cornea are separated and folded back like a flap. Small amounts of the middle section of the cornea are removed and the corneal flap put back into place.
* Stitches are not generally necessary.
* Cornea is flattened.
* A modified version of this procedure can help some people with hyperopia.

4)  Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

* Can help those with mid- to moderate myopia with or without astigmatism.
* An excimer laser is used to reshape the surface of the cornea.
* How much the laser removes is based on your eyeglass prescription.

5)  Laser in-situ Keratomilieusis (LASIK)

* This procedure is a combination of ALK and PRK.
* Cornea is flattened to help improve myopia.
* The corneal flap is removed and the middle layers subjected to an excimer laser, then the corneal flap replaced.
* No stitches are needed.