Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Although LASIK is very popular it may not be for everyone. At Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons we are dedicated to providing the right vision correction procedure for you. Because of this we offer other vision correction alternatives. Please feel free to review the LASIK alternatives below if you are not a LASIK candidate. If you have excessively dry eyes or very thin corneas you might consider PRK or a phakic IOL implant.
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)
If you have been doing some LASIK research you may come across a term called PRK. PRK is a form of laser vision correction that was actually FDA approved before LASIK eye surgery and may have potential benefits for you. PRK was the first laser refractive surgery approved by the FDA receiving final approval in 1995. PRK is a refractive eye surgery procedure that utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism much like LASIK eye surgery. Once the cornea has flattened, light rays are more easily focused upon the retina. PRK differs from LASIK in that no flap of tissue is created prior to resculpting the cornea with the excimer laser. In LASIK this flap creation does enable a faster recovery period.
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) Procedure
The procedure can be performed once the eye has been numbed with anesthetic drops. A speculum will be positioned to hold your eyelids back just like in LASIK eye surgery so that your eyelids will not interrupt the actual surgery. Dr. Izzo will then remove the outer cornea cells and proceed with the actual laser treatment. The laser is then positioned to directly treat the cornea. This laser delivery takes less than one minute to complete for most patients. Once the laser treatment or refractive ablation is completed, the corneal curvature is reshaped, thus improving the refractive error. Your ophthalmologist will then place a bandage contact lens on the eye for improved comfort along with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops.
After PRK surgery
Post-operatively, our patients will be re-evaluated one day, three days, one week, one month, three months, and six months following the PRK procedure. The bandage contact lens can usually be removed on the second or third post-operative day when the epithelium is healed. Most patients will only require eye drops to control healing during the first 6 to 12 weeks, but other patients may require topically applied medications for up to 6 months or more following the procedure. In general, the greater the refractive error, the more likely the patient is to require eye drop medications for a prolonged period following the procedure.
Phakic IOLs (intraocular lenses) are an alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery for correcting moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). This procedure is generally indicated for younger patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. Phakic IOLs are clear implantable lenses that are surgically placed either between the cornea and the iris (the colored portion of your eye) or just behind the iris, without removing your natural lens. Phakic lenses enable light to focus properly on the retina for clearer vision without corrective eyewear.
Implantable lenses function like contact lenses to correct nearsightedness. The difference is that phakic IOLs work from within your eye instead of sitting on the surface of your eye. Also, phakic IOLs offer a permanent correction of myopia, unless the lens is surgically removed.
Two FDA-approved phakic IOLs currently available in the US are Verisyse and Visian ICL. If you have any questions about whether or not this procedure might be right for you, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.