Different Types of Vision Correction Surgery and Their Risk Factors

An eye is the most vital organ of our body which enables us to see everything around the world. However, a problem in vision may occur due to any reason and at any age of a person which is a big concern as it hampers whole life. However, with the advancement of medical science, there are many effective vision correction surgeries that can bring back your normal vision or eyesight.

Surgical processes that are used to remove common vision issues such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, presbyopia, farsightedness, etc. known as Refractive surgery. This surgical procedure reduces the dependency of patients on contact lenses and eyeglasses.

Mostly the vision correction surgeries reshape the very front part of eye naming cornea which gives a place for light entrance so that focus can be maintained easily on the back part of eye i.e. retina. Apart from this in other surgical procedures, the natural lens of the eye is replaced.

Different Types of Vision Correction Surgeries

Vision correction surgeries or technique is immensely improved since last 25 years with the active participation by the eye specialist doctors and surgeons worldwide. Now people don’t have to be dependent on eyeglasses and lenses throughout their life as with the laser therapy and other surgery processes one can enjoy a freedom full life along with the long lasting clear vision or eyesight.


LASIK eye surgery

Below we have mentioned some popular at the same time effective vision correction surgeries which are best in their own circle of work.

Radial Keratotomy (RK)

Radial Keratotomy was one of the popular vision correction surgeries during the 1980s in the United States which is used to correct nearsightedness problem. Under this surgical process, an incision is done in order to flatten the eye’s surface.

This vision correction process was good for patients with lower prescriptions. Its popularity diminishes due to its long-term side effects which some individuals (with a high prescription) faced such as night vision issue, fluctuating vision, regression, significant glare, etc.

However currently with the inception of a new and advanced form of vision correction techniques, the RK surgical process is almost obsolete.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Photorefractive Keratectomy is known as the first successful laser vision correction surgery which was invented in the 1980s and it got FDA approval in the year 1995. In this surgical procedure, the tissue is removed directly from the eye’s surface in order to change the curvature of the cornea.

PRK is also known as Surface Ablation. This vision correction surgery is still in use however it is not as popular as other current time surgical techniques such as LASIK etc. However, with some respect, PRK is considered safer than LASIK surgery.

In the LASIK surgery process, a proceeding is difficult and risky if the patient’s cornea remains very thin. In the case of PRK, there is no risk of creating a thin and hinged flap on the surface of the eye. Also, there is no risk of surgical flap complications.

In PRK surgery technique, nerve regeneration on the eye surface is quite faster than the LASIK surgery technique which is vital for avoiding the problem of dry eyes and other issues that are more likely to develop till the healing is completed fully.

In spite of all these advantages of PRK over LASIK process, the popularity of the second technique is more because the healing time involved in it is very fast. The patient who undergoes LASIK surgery have almost no discomfort after the procedure and vision gets clear just within a few hours rather than several days.

LASIK (Laser In-situ Keratomileusis)

The LASIK surgical process is applied to people having a problem in their vision including nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatism. In this surgery process reshaping of the cornea is done so that the light that travels through it can focus on retina located on the backside of the eye.

In this surgery process precision and advanced computer imaging technology is used for creating the precise corneal images and also for other guidance in the whole treatment.

LASIK surgery process has several benefits such as it involves a lesser amount of pain, no stitches and bandage are needed, vision is recovered just after the next day of treatment, required vision changes adjustment is possible after many years, and its patients have less dependency on contact lenses and eyeglasses.

However, along with all these benefits, the LASIK surgery process is also associated with some complications that may happen in rare cases. This surgery process is very complex and in a few cases, a flap created by a doctor may affect vision permanently.

Also in rare condition, an individual may lose his or her best vision i.e. the highest range of vision that a person gets after wearing prescribed eyeglasses and contact lenses. This is the reason always an experienced surgeon is preferred in this kind of vision surgery.

LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)

LASEK vision correction surgery process is very much similar to PRK. It is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A very thin layer flap is created by the doctors in its procedure.

An alcohol solution is used to loosen the tissue and for reshaping your cornea. Then a soft contact lens is used in order to hold the flap in its place until the healing is completed.

Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is used to restore a new vision of the patient along with correcting other issues like nearsightedness and farsightedness. In this technique, a new lens is implanted by the surgeon.

The lenses which are used in this process are known as Accommodating IOLs, Multifocal IOLs, Toric IOLS, etc.

RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange)

Refractive Lens Exchange vision correction technique is also known as Clear Lens Extraction which is primarily used to correct cataracts. It is very much similar to cataract surgery but its procedures are a little bit different from CS.

In this surgery process, a small incision is made on the edge of the cornea in order to remove the natural lens of the eye. After that lens is replaced with a plastic or silicone lens. This technique is used to treat severe nearsightedness and farsightedness issues.

Apart from that, it is also used to treat small eye related issues like dry eyes, thin corners, etc. However, as RLE is associated with severe complications with a comparison to other vision correction methods so it is only preferred for critical cases.

ALK (Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty)

ALK vision correction process is used to treat extreme level of nearsightedness issue and lower range of farsightedness problem. In this technique, a flap is created in the cornea by the surgeon in order to reach the underlying tissue.

In this process, no laser is used instead an incision is made in the sublayer of the cornea for reshaping and correcting the vision.

Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants

In the Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants process, an implant is inserted via a small incision in the edge of the cornea which attaches itself to the iris at the back of pupil. Under this technique, the natural lens of the eye is left as it is in its place.

PRELEX (Presbyopic Lens Exchange)

In the PRELEX vision correction surgery, a doctor implants multifocal lens in order to restore focus and for improving flexibility that already dwindled in the lack of eye’s lens flexibility.

Patient with presbyopia (a condition where eye lens loses its flexibility) faces difficulty while focusing on close objects. However with the intervention of PRELEX vision correcting treatment this issue is resolved completely.

Intacs

Intacs vision correction surgery is also known as Intracorneal Ring Segments or ICR. In this treatment method, a doctor will make a small incision in the cornea. Then two plastic rings of crescent-shaped are placed at the outer edge of the cornea in order to flatten it.

This flattened cornea let enter the light rays alter in the way it focuses on the retina. However, in recent years, ICR is been replaced by the laser-based procedures for treating mild nearsightedness issue.

AK (Astigmatic Keratotomy)

Astigmatic Keratotomy or AK is the surgery process which is used to correct astigmatism issue without any intervention of laser. Those who suffer from astigmatism have football shaped corneas which can be corrected by this surgery.

In this process, one or two incisions are made at the steepest part of the cornea. After this incision, the cornea comforts and get a more rounded shape. This surgery process can be done alone or even along with other types of laser eye surgeries.

EpiLasik

In the EpiLasik surgery process, a thin layer of the cornea is separated by the doctor and then they reshape it. Under this technique, the layer can be removed or replaced. At the end doctor will apply a soft contact in order to protect the area until it fully healed.

Checklist to Follow Before Vision Correction Surgeries

Cataract Surgery
Image Credit : costcataractsurgery.com


A decision of having a vision correction surgery is not so simple as one has to take a big risk of this most important and delicate parts of his or her body i.e. eye. So it is very important that you have thoroughly gone through all the surgery options, their individual features and risk factors associated with them.

However, our below mentioned detailed checklist will help you a lot for enlightening your way to get the right surgery for restoring your eye vision and health.

Search for Right Doctor

It is your first task to search for a right doctor before going for an eye checkup. In this regard you can take the help of internet search tools, can get a recommendation from other people who have already gone through such surgery, etc.

Once you are fully satisfied by the previous history of a doctor and his patient’s responses then and only decide for a visit.

Share Your Issues Thoroughly

Don’t keep anything within you when you will go for the first visit to the ophthalmologist. Share all your eye-related issue so that the doctor will understand your condition and accordingly decide the right procedure for treating it fully.

Clarify All Possible Treatments

Ask your doctor about all possible surgeries and treatment techniques and decide wisely a surgery process that fulfills all your required criteria and suits you best. Don’t take a step half-heartedly.

Only when you feel satisfied with the recommended surgery by the doctor then and only move ahead. This is the reason it is very important that you remain aware of all best possible vision correction surgeries that suit your eye’s condition treatment.

Take Appointment for Surgery

As per your suitability and doctor’s availability ask your doctor to keep the final surgery date. If an appointment is not possible on your desired date then make sure that amendments in this regard do not hamper you any way negatively.

Don’t Use Contact Lenses

For best result out of your surgery treatment, it is recommended to remove any eye lenses if you used to wear them previously. You should stop wearing a contact lens at least 2 to 3 weeks before the surgery date

Stay Ready with Post Surgery Recovery Plan

Don’t leave anything for the future as we all know that the future is uncertain. So for your best care, you should stay ready with your post-surgery recovery plans. Make sure that you have already taken leave for a few days out of your daily work to take rest after surgery.

Also, ensure that any of your close friend or relatives will be there to accompany you to your home and for your take care until you get fit. Also, be ready with an alternate transportation plan to avoid unforeseen circumstances on your release after surgery.

Risk Factor

Just like other surgical treatment techniques vision correction surgery is also associated with some complications risk that may happen during the surgery time or after the surgery means at the healing time. Some possible risk factor for this surgery is mentioned below.

Complications during the Surgery Process

Under the condition of very thin cornea possibility lies to a very great extent that a cut may happen into the eye. If this happens then surgery postponed till it heals completely. Also one should be careful that an infection will not occur in this period.
A complication is possible during the preparation of flap with the microkeratome. Some possible complications include a decentered flap, incomplete flap, small flap, irregular flap, free flap, etc.

If these issues occur then surgery is postponed until the flap is healed completely (approx. 3 to 6 months). Once healing is done then the flap is recut to complete the surgery.

Complications after the Surgery Process

  • Dryness in the eyes is one of the most common issues that develop after the completion of the surgery process. In LASIK surgery process dryness of eye happens as post effect due to a reduction in corneal sensation.

  • An inflammation happens after the LASIK surgery process naming diffuse lamellar keratitis which requires immediate treatment otherwise it can even cause loss of vision.

However, with proper care and necessary treatment, these complications can be overcome and one can enjoy a normal vision with the help of vision correction surgeries.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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