If you are a candidate for laser eye surgery, you may want to know about the different LASIK alternatives so you can make a truly informed decision as to which procedure is right for you. The type of procedure can also depend on specific attributes of your eyes, such as how thin your corneas are. The four alternatives to traditional LASIK surgery are LASEK, Phakic IntraOcular Lens Implants, Epi-LASIK, and Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery.
If you have thin or flat corneas, LASEK is one of the best LASIK alternatives. The procedure doesn’t involve the use of a laser or blade. Instead, an alcohol solution is used to soften the outer layer of the cornea, allowing it to be removed. A laser doesn’t come into the picture until it is time to reshape the cornea. This is a less invasive procedure that has a low rate of infection. The downfall, when compared to a regular LASIK procedure is that the recovery time is not as fast.
Phakic IntraOcular Lens Implants
If a patient has a lens that is not able to focus, he or she most likely doesn’t qualify for LASIK. Phakic IntraOcular Lens Implants are good alternatives. This procedure doesn’t involve any peeling back of corneal layers or cutting. Small portions of the cornea remain intact as well. Instead, an artificial lens that is made of plastic or silicone is implanted in the eye between the cornea and iris to improve how the eye focuses. Although the lens is intended to be permanent, it can be removed at any time. The recovery time can vary depending on the lens material, but many patients report improvements to their vision within 24 hours after the surgery.
Like LASEK, Epi-LASIK is not as invasive as traditional LASIK. However, a plastic blade lifts the epithelium to separate it from the inner cornea. A laser then reshapes the cornea’s inner tissue. After the reshaping is finished, a protective contact lens is inserted to help the eye recover. This procedure is also ideal for patients with thin corneas and those desiring a faster recovery time.
Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery
Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery is another LASIK alternative that can help those that don’t qualify for traditional corrective surgery. A laser is used to remove the natural lens so it can be replaced with an artificial IntraOcular lens. Once completed, the eye’s ability to focus improves. This surgery corrects farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism with very good results. In fact, the results seem to last longer than other types of laser eye surgeries. This is due to the artificial lens staying clear and never aging. These patients also don’t develop cataracts.
Overall, these procedures work well for people with moderate to severe vision issues. They also work well for the people that don’t qualify for traditional surgery. With the existence of these methods, more people are able to experience the benefits of vision correction surgery, such as not having to deal with corrective lenses and the ongoing cost. If you are interested in one of these LASIK alternatives, be sure to contact us at Eye Care Specialists in Wilkes-Barre, PA.