What is Refractive Corneal Surgery ?
The surgical procedure is performed to correct the three refractive errors – astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. The aim of the surgery is to improve the vision by eliminating the use of contact lenses or eyeglasses. Sometime refractive surgery is also performed to correct presbyopia. The refractive surgery is performed on healthy eyes unlike other eye surgeries. The refractive surgery is referred to as elective surgery that is similar to cosmetic surgery. Refractive surgery also includes different surgical methods that are used for reshaping of the cataract or cornea surgery. To reshape the curvature of the cornea, excimer lasers are used which is amongst the most common methods used.
Types of Refractive Corneal Surgery
The different types of refractive surgery procedures are –
- Laser In-Situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
- Clear Lens Extraction (CLE)
- Radial Keratotomy (RK)
- Laser Thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)
- Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)
- Photorefractive Keratectomy
- Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segment (ICRS)
Refractive Corneal Surgery
The surgical procedures corrects nearsightedness ranging from mild to moderate. If the person is suffering from nearsightedness, then he or she finds difficulty in seeing far away things.
Corneal Transplant : The corneal transplant is performed when there is damaged or diseased cornea blocking the ability of the cornea to transmit light to the retina. The diseased cornea of the patient is replaced with donor’s healthy graft or cornea.
DSEK : The procedure of Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) is performed to correct the disorders of the innermost area of the cornea which causes limiting in vision due to corneal swelling. The technique only transplants the innermost corneal layer with the help of a small wound. There is no requirement of sutures to hold the graft in place.
Penetrating Keratoplasty : This technique is the most sought after surgical option for those patients who wants to replace the entire cornea. Multiple sutures are required in this surgery to hold the graft in a proper place. By using contact lenses, the patients can gain best vision after the surgery.
Vision Correction Surgery
Also referred to as refractive eye surgery, vision correction surgery is performed to correct the different refractive errors. The work of the surgeries is to reshape the front part of the eye. The purpose is to make a proper focus of the light traveling through the eye onto the retina. The surgical methods are adopted by measuring the eye. The different procedures are –
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) : The procedure is done to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. The surgery involves the use of lasers in order to reshape the cornea. On the surface of the cornea, the laser sends a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light.
Phakic IOL : In this, an insertion of intraocular lens is done in front of the patient’s own lens. This is done without disturbing the layers of the surface.
Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) : The problem of astigmatism, nearsighted and farsighted vision problems are corrected with the help of this procedure. The aim is to correct the vision by reshaping corneal tissue so as to make a proper focus of light into the retina and the eye. This most common procedure creates a flap with the help of laser in the cornea’s outer layer. This is done to reshape the underneath layers.
PRK Versus LASIK
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) and LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis) are the two types of Laser Refractive Surgery. The laser used in both the procedures are same. However, the difference lies in the initial aspects of both the surgeries. The general procedure of both PRK and LASIK are very similar and the laser is used for reshaping the cornea for improving the vision. The major difference between the two is that no flap is created in the case of PRK.
The benefits of both PRK and LASIK are noteworthy. PRK involves no long term flap risk that is a consideration for several situations such as dry eye syndrome, martial arts and construction. While in LASIK there are very less chances of corneal erosion or scarring as compared to PRK.
Cost of Cornea and Refractive Surgery
The cost of both cornea and refractive surgery in India is very affordable as compared to other developed countries. The treatments and surgeries are performed by using latest medical technologies.