Laser Vision Correction Procedures

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LASIK

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is an outpatient refractive surgery procedure used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. A laser is used to reshape the cornea — the clear, round dome at the front of the eye — to improve the way the eye focuses light rays onto the retina at the back of the eye.

With LASIK, Dr. Milner creates a thin flap in the cornea; He then folds back the flap and precisely removes a very specific amount of corneal tissue using an excimer laser. The flap is then laid back into its original position where it heals in place.

With nearsighted people, the goal of LASIK is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. LASIK can also correct astigmatism by shaping an irregular “football” shaped cornea into a more rounded shape cornea.

Lasik allows for little to no down time and in most cases you are able to drive, and go to work or school the very next day!

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PRK

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses the excimer laser in the same way as LASIK, and your vision correction results are similar. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that in PRK there is no flap — only the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea is removed (or moved aside) before the excimer laser sculpts the cornea.

If PRK is the chosen procedure, an alcohol-based solution will first be placed in a very specific area of the cornea to help loosen the epithelial layers; a thin layer of the cornea will then be gently removed. A bandage contact lens will be placed in the treated eye to promote healing, for about 3-4 days, and the cornea's epithelial layer re-grows during this time.

While LASIK patients often report clear, improved vision by the day after surgery, it may be a few days before vision stabilizes for PRK patients. The thicker corneal flap created in LASIK is not made in PRK, so if there is a concern about potential flap complications, Dr. Milner may recommend PRK. If your corneas are too thin or flat to meet LASIK standards, if you’re in a profession where your eyes can get injured easily (firefighters, police officer, military, combat sports etc.), or if other health factors are involved, Dr. Milner may decide that PRK would be a better option.