Eye Surgery Lasik Types

LASIK (Laser in-situ Keratomileusis) is the most common form of surgical vision correction. It is used to correct or improve nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

As LASIK vision correction technology advances, new types of LASIK have been developed. While different types of LASIK surgery approach vision correction in slightly different ways, all LASIK surgery follows the same general pattern.

LASIK Surgery

Standard LASIK vision correction is a surgical procedure. During the procedure, the doctor uses a specialized surgical instrument, called a microkeratome blade, to create a thin, hinged flap on the cornea.

The doctor then folds the corneal flap back and removes an extremely thin layer of corneal tissue with a laser. Once the tissue has been removed, the corneal flap is folded back into place. The corneal flap begins to heal almost immediately and requires no stitches to hold it in place.

LASIK surgery permanently reshapes the central tissue of the cornea. While LASIK vision correction for farsightedness makes the corneal slope steeper, nearsighted people have their corneas flattened. For astigmatism, LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea into a more spherical shape.

LASIK vision correction has its limitations. For example, if the patient already wears glasses or contact lenses, he will likely have to continue to wear prescription lenses after the surgery. However, the prescription required for proper vision may be significantly decreased. In exceptional cases, LASIK vision correction results in 20/20 vision. However, keep in mind that this is the exception rather than the rule.

Types of LASIK Surgery

Types of LASIK Surgery

In addition to conventional LASIK surgery, several different types of LASIK vision correction are available, including:

  • Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA): As it is an advanced form of LASIK vision correction, only extremely skilled and experienced surgeons perform ASA.ASA reshapes the cornea without creating a corneal flap. Although it is one of the safest methods of LASIK vision correction, patients tend to experience discomfort for a few days, with recovery time lasting up to a few weeks.
  • Blended Vision: Blended vision can improve both nearsightedness and farsightedness by treating each eye separately. One eye is treated for nearsightedness, while the other is reshaped for farsightedness.
  • IntraLASIK: Instead of using a microkeratome blade to create a corneal flap, IntraLASIK uses a femtosecond Intralase laser. IntraLASIK takes a minute to create a corneal flap, as opposed to the seconds required in standard LASIK surgery. A laser-created corneal flap is thinner than a microkeratome and lacks the tiny imperfections caused by a microkeratome blade. IntraLASIK is generally considered a safer method of LASIK vision correction than standard LASIK surgery.

Custom LASIK Surgery

Custom LASIK surgery refers to LASIK vision correction that is customized for the patient’s unique eye structure using wave-front technology.

A wave-front analyzer measures how light travels through the cornea and constructs a 3-D map of the eye. This map is then compared to an eye with perfect vision, which the surgeon uses as a guide.

Both standard LASIK surgery and IntraLASIK surgery can use wave-front technology. Custom LASIK can treat vision problems other than farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Halos, glare and decreased night vision may all respond to custom LASIK surgery.

LASIK Vision Correction Candidates

Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK vision correction. LASIK surgery has the best results in patients who:

  • are 18 or older
  • are farsighted, nearsighted, astigmatic or who have a combination of these vision problems
  • do not have secondary conditions that will interfere with healing or surgery
  • have corneas thick enough to create a corneal flap
  • have had a stable lens prescription for at least two years
  • have realistic expectations of LASIK surgery results.

Certain conditions rule out LASIK surgery as a treatment option. These conditions include:

  • advanced glaucoma
  • cataracts
  • corneal thinning disorders
  • corneal disease
  • eye disorders that threaten vision
  • unrealistic expectations of LASIK surgery.

Other factors can influence the results of LASIK vision correction. Dry eyes, autoimmune disorders, immunosuppressants and use of steroid medications should be reported to the surgeon. Corneal scarring can also affect surgery results.

Patients who are pregnant, nursing, under eighteen or who have a history of ocular herpes may not be eligible for LASIK surgery immediately. However, they can discuss the possibility of LASIK vision correction at a future date.

You may use the form below to interview multiple surgeons about the type of Lasik surgery you feel best suits you.