There are a number of refractive procedures (that is, surgery that is specifically for the improvement of vision).
One of the most advanced laser vision correction procedures, LASIK involves creating a flap with an IntraLase laser, then using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Together, these technologies give an eye surgeon precise control.
If a person has thin corneas, and they aren’t suitable for LASIK, Advanced Surface Laser (ASLA – a more advanced version of PRK) may then be performed.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world today. It involves creating a tiny incision in the cornea, removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with a flexible intraocular lens.
Also called a Phakic Intraocular Lens, an Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is surgically placed inside the eye. This procedure is usually recommended when a refractive error is too large to be corrected by LASIK. They are made of a thin material designed to be accepted by your body (not rejecting it as it would a foreign body).
This involves the same procedure as cataract surgery. The only difference is the natural lens of the eye isn’t cloudy and the surgery is performed primarily to reduce dependence on glasses. A refractive lens exchange is often suitable for people 50+.
Also known as AK, astigmatic keratotomy is a procedure that has been used to correct astigmatism. It is often used with cataract or refractive lens exchange surgery to reduce astigmatism.
These are small devices that are implanted in the eye, usually to correct keratoconus. Common types are Intacs, Kerarings and Ferrara rings. These small rings are inserted by an ophthalmic surgeon, who makes a minute incision in the side of the cornea using the Intralase laser.
PRK – Photorefractive keratotomy is a procedure that has historically been used as an alternative to LASIK for patients with thin corneas. It has largely been replaced by ASLA.
Monovision (or laser blended vision) is where one eye is predominantly focused for distance and one eye is predominantly focused for near. The result is a “blend” of both distance and near vision. This can be created with laser vision correction. 80% of people can successfully adapt to this and a contact lens trial can simulate the result.
A recent development, this device is a small corneal inlay, smaller than a contact lens and lighter than a grain of salt. Used specifically for the treatment of presbyopia (age related near vision loss), it is surgically inserted in one eye only. This increases the depth of focus in that eye, allowing increased reading vision.