What Are The Different Types Of Laser Eye Surgery?

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If you’re looking to get eye surgery to correct some kind of vision impairment, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually three types of laser eye surgery. The three different forms of laser surgery are surface treatment (photorefractive keratectomy or PRK), LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) and SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) – while each of these forms of laser surgery provides the same level of vision benefits by the end of the first year, each has its own set of limitations that require careful consideration. In this article, we take a look at what each of these laser surgery forms involve, and examine laser surgery as a whole. 

The different forms of laser surgery in detail

If you’re simply looking for the best laser eye surgery in Malvern, chances are you’ll have to be a bit more specific. As each type of laser eye surgery has its own limitations, risks and side effects, your doctor will be the one to advise you which is likely the best option for you given your unique circumstances. Surface laser eye surgery applies your prescription directly on the front of your eye, kind of like permanent prescription contacts. Afterwards, it’s not uncommon for the skin of the eye to be quite sore and to take a few days to heal, so rest is usually a good idea. Although your eye will be sore, your vision will be excellent immediately, and will be perfect in a few weeks. LASIK uses two lasers, with the first creating a flap in the cornea and the second applying your prescription on the cornea under the flap. The flap is repositioned afterwards, and although it is possible for your eye to feel a bit gritty, your vision will be excellent after a couple of days of healing. The last form of eye surgery is SMILE – this uses the laser to cut a disc within the cornea, and the surgeon will then remove it through a small incision on the surface. Your vision will be good straight away, but it takes a small amount of time to become excellent. 

The pros and cons of these respective techniques

As evidence demonstrates that all three techniques offer equally good vision after a full year, the best option for you will depend on the limitations, risks and side effects of the surgery. Surface laser eye surgery causes more discomfort (through irritation of the eye skin) and requires more recovery time, but it ensures lower rates of dry eye and is structurally sounder than the other two forms of laser eye surgery. LASIK worsens dry eyes, and it is possible for an accident later on to dislodge the flap and potentially damage the eye. For this reason, LASIK is not recommended for those engaging in contact sports or are in the police or military. Lastly, SMILE can’t treat long-sightedness, so is not an option at all for people with this eye condition. It’s also important to note that you can repeat surface or LASIK surgery, buy you can’t repeat the SMILE procedure again.

What to expect with the surgery

Laser eye surgeries are very straightforward, taking approximately a total of 15 minutes for both eyes. It is also the case that you are awake during the procedure, but your eye is numbed so that you don’t feel anything. It might be the case that you need to have surgery again within 10 years if your eyes are changing or if your eye heals in a way that was not foreseen.

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Abbie M

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