Laser Eye Operation

English: Intraoperative pachymetric-guided cor...

English: Intraoperative pachymetric-guided corneal epithelium removal during corneal collagen cross linking in patient with post-LASIK corneal ectasia and inferior corneal thinning. Kymionis et al. BMC Ophthalmology 2009 9:10 doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-10 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

laser eye operation is a general term used to refer to a number of routine procedures for minor eye problems.

As the term implies, such operations are done with the use of lasers – specifically with laser equipment known as an excimer.

Today these are very popular treatments, enjoying a high demand that leaves most consumers very satisfied with their investment and their results.

Types of Laser Eye Procedures

There are several types of eye operations using lasers that will correct minor eye issues such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

These are:



3. PRK

4. ALK

5. LTK.

The LASIK or the laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is the most common type and is mostly used as a generic term for any laser eye surgery.

However, there is no real reason for this. In fact, there are distinct differences between these 5 types.

With LASIK, a thick amount of corneal tissue is cut and hinged back as a flap so the doctor can reshape the tissue underneath using laser.

The second type is called the LASEK or laser epithelial keratomileusis. It is a very similar procedure to LASIK. The only difference is that a thinner piece of corneal tissue is cut and hinged back to proceed with the laser operation. This procedure is less invasive and is an ideal option for patients with thin corneas who are considered unsuitable for the first type.

The third type of laser eye operation is the PRK or the photorefractive keratectomy. It is actually the predecessor of LASIK. It was the most common laser procedure for low to moderate eye problems before LASIK became very popular. With this procedure, a thin layer of the corneal tissue is completely removed and is allowed to heal naturally over a period of time. The length of recovery is what made PRK lose its popularity over LASIK. Fourth is the ALK or automated lamellar keratoplasty which is aprocedure used to treat high levels of near-sightedness (myopia) and moderate to high levels of far-sightedness (hyperopia). During this type oflaser eye operation, a precision surgical instrument known as the microkeratome is used to remove material from under the corneal flap. Like PRK, healing takes place over a period of time.

Then there’s LTK or laser thermokeratoplasty which is the most recent type. This procedure is done with a heat-producing laser beam. Compared to the aforementioned eye operations, the LTK reshapes the cornea and removes unwanted material underneath with heat. It is for this reason that it is known as a non-invasive form of laser operation.

Overview of eye operations using laser from the National Library of Medicine

Truth about the Cost

The cost for a laser eye surgery depends on which type is necessary for a patient to undergo, but typically, prices begin at $1,000.

It is important to note that the cost for one of these eye operations does not end after the procedure has been done.

Laser eye surgery from the FDA

Additional factors such as the length of recovery and requirements such as pre and post-operative care can also influence and affect how much money a patient really has to spend to treat moderate to high levels of minor eye problems with a laser eye operation.

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