Alternatives to LASIK
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) has been also called "LASIK without a flap". It is primarily offered to patients whom are poor candidates for LASIK due to corneal curvature or corneal thickness issues. PRK is equally effective as LASIK with long-term results being equal. With the PRK procedure, no flap is made on the cornea. The outside layer of cells (epithelium) on the cornea is removed. The laser then reshapes the cornea to the desired correction in the same manner as the LASIK procedure. A soft contact lens is then placed on the cornea to function as a bandage. It remains in place 24 hours-a-day for 3 to 4 days until the epithelium heals over completely, then it is removed. It generally takes about one week for visual function to return to normal. Eye drops are used post-operatively for 12 weeks to control the healing process.
LRIs (Limbal Relaxing Incisions)
Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRIs) are used to treat low to moderate degrees of astigmatisms. During the brief procedure, the surgeon makes small relaxing incisions in the limbus of the cornea. This allows the cornea to become more rounded when it heals. These incisions are placed in the steep or more curved portion of the Cornea in order to reduce the curvature and in that way reduce the Astigmatism. The length of these incisions is determined by the amount of astigmatism.
RLE (Refractive Lense Exchange)
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a refractive surgery procedure in which the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant to correct refractive error. RLE surgery is essentially the same as cataract surgery; however, in RLE, the procedure is performed primarily to change the refractive properties of the eye rather than to remove a cataract that has developed in the lens of the eye. RLE is typically used for middle age and older hyperopic (farsighted) patients that have higher levels of farsightedness than can effectively be treated with LASIK or PRK.