Refractive laser vision surgery involves the use of an advanced laser system to reshape the focusing power of the cornea at the front of your eye. It is designed to reduce your need for glasses and contact lenses. The two most common forms of laser vision correction surgery are LASIK and PRK. The following diagrams illustrate an eye that has emmetropia (no refractive error), myopia (short sightedness) and hyperopia (long sightedness)
LASIK (Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is a type a laser vision correction procedure to treat common refractive errors: short-sightedness (myopia), ongsightedness (hypermetropia) and astigmatism. It can also be used for “fine-tuning” after cataract surgery to get the best possible unaided vision. It is the most commonly performed procedure to treat refractive errors, particularly because visual recovery is rapid and discomfort is minimal.
LASIK involves essentially two steps. The first step is to create a very thin flap on the surface of the eye (cornea) that is then lifted back, so that a very accurate laser can reshape the underlying cornea to correct the refractive error. The flap is then carefully repositioned and then maintains its position by natural adhesion. No stitches are required.
We routinely perform LASIK using a femtosecond laser to create the flap at a predictable and precise depth. This results in what is known as “bladeless laser eye surgery”. This differs from traditional LASIK which used a cutting instrument known as a microkeratome to create the flap.