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Refractive Eye Surgery

Refractive eye surgery is a method using lasers to correct or minimize refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and “old sight”. Currently, specialists and typically ophthalmologists have many methods at hand to correct these refractive methods. Among them, the LASIK, PRK, and the ReLEx smile are the most common. There are undeniably benefits and downsides for each technique. Nonetheless, the ophthalmologist would opt for one or the other techniques, after analyzing and evaluating the results from the tests performed during the preoperative consultation.

 

LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK is a very effective and safe refractive eye surgery. LASIK surgery can correct myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, presbyopia or old sight and astigmatism. This technique consists of the application of an excimer laser to change the curvature of the cornea. After the operation, there will be no dependence on glasses and contact lenses any longer.

Benefits:

  • It has been proven to be very effective, i.e. over 99% success rate
  • The surgery is outpatient,
  • Completely painless and only requires topical anesthesia (drops), 
  • It lasts a few minutes,
  • Postoperative visual recovery is quick.

 

Downsides:

  • Risks of flap complications such as flap displacement
  • Dry eye problems

 

PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy)

PRK technique is the first type of refractive eye surgery using lasers. With the PRK technique, the common refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, and or astigmatism) can be corrected.

Yet, the PRK technique differs from the LASIK technique in its overall procedure. In the PRK technique, no flap is created. The laser is applied after removing the epithelium (the most superficial layer of the cornea), but a flap is not created.

It is usually used in cases where the patient has a thin cornea.

Benefits:

  • Low risks for flap complications
  • The best technique for patients with a thin cornea
  • It has been proven to be very effective, i.e. over 95% success rate
  • The surgery is outpatient,
  • Completely painless and only requires topical anesthesia (drops), 
  • It lasts less than 10 minutes,

 

Downside:

  • The recovery period after PRK surgery is longer than other techniques.

 

ReLEx SMILE 

ReLEx SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction) is the latest generation surgical technique and is currently considered the least aggressive and minimally invasive technique.

With ReLEx SMILE, the myopia of up to 10 diopters and 5 diopters of astigmatism can be corrected (Presbyopia cannot be corrected with this technique).

 

Benefits:

  • The operation is performed in a single step with a Femtosecond laser,
  • Lower risk of flap complications,
  • Less dry eye problems,
  • The quicker operation, lasts less than 30 seconds,
  • Quicker recovery

 

Downside:

  • Cannot correct Presbyopia and Hypermetropia 

 




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