There are three main corrective surgeries: LASIK, LASEK, and PRK. All three of these procedures are designed to reshape your cornea.
What is LASIK?
Laser-assisted stromal in situ keratomileuses (LASIK) is the second generation of laser vision correction, which has the same result as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), but the recovery time and postoperative complications are less than PRK.
LASIK is the most commonly done laser vision correction (LVC).
LASIK involves creating a tiny flap of corneal tissue using a femtosecond laser and then folding it back. To correct the eyesight, the surgeon subsequently utilizes an excimer laser to remodel the underlying corneal tissue.
To get the LASIK procedure done, the patient must have an appropriate corneal thickness. Due to the creation of a flap during this surgery, a specific degree of corneal thickness is necessary, and patients with thin or uneven corneas may not be able to get the surgery.
Though LASIK is a very successful, safe, and dependable procedure, it is a more complicated technique. The vision recovers immediately after the procedure. LASIK employs two lasers and generates a flap during surgery, which has a risk of flap-related problems following the procedure, such as:
Striae (tiny wrinkles due to uneven alignment of the flap), Uneven astigmatism, Epithelial ingrowth, Inflammation, Dry eye syndrome, LASIK is known to raise the incidence of postoperative dry eye symptoms and can worsen previously existing chronic dry eye.
What is LASEK?
LASEK is an eye surgery that combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries.
Laser epithelial keratomileusis, or LASEK, combines benefits of the two most commonly performed procedures — LASIK and PRK. LASEK eye surgery is used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.
What Are the Advantages of LASEK Eye Surgery?
LASEK surgery is said to have several advantages, including: Complications associated with creating and reattaching the flap in the cornea are avoided. LASEK eye surgery causes dry eye less frequently than LASIK eye surgery.
In LASEK eye surgery, various techniques are used to retain the very thin corneal surface layer of cells (epithelium) that is used to recover the cornea after the laser sculpting is performed. With LASIK, a thicker flap is created using a laser or mechanical device (microkeratome) under which the laser sculpting is done.
What is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the first generation of laser vision correction.
PRK is considered a better option for patients with thin or irregular corneas and dry eyes and who have high-risk occupations where there is direct contact to the eyes, such as boxers.
During the PRK procedure, the outer layer of the cornea (also called the epithelium) is gently removed using a hand device during PRK surgery. The surgeon will reshape the cornea and fix the eyesight with a cold excimer laser.
The recovery time after a PRK is two to six weeks, which is the longest recovery period than the other laser vision correction (LVC). It takes roughly a week for the cells on the upper surface of the cornea to regenerate.
There is an increased risk of postoperative discomfort with PRK.