Corneal refractive surgery: LASIK, PRK 22/03/2013
Nowadays, two corneal refractive surgery techniques are mainly used, both performed by the team at the Institut de la Màcula.
LASIK corneal refractive surgery is the most widely performed. This consists of modifying the shape of the cornea to alter the eye's total degree of refraction. The initial layers of the corneal tissue are carefully separated (the corneal flap), either mechanically or with a femtosecond laser, and then an excimer laser is used to shape the cornea and correct the desired dioptres. Finally, the area treated is covered with the corneal flap, with no suture required, to restore the normal surface of the eye.
The excimer laser we use at the Institut de la Màcula allows us to carry out personalised treatments to increase precision in correction and improve visual quality, as well as more efficiently respecting the thickness of the cornea.
LASIK refractive surgery is carried out under local anaesthesia, only lasts a few minutes and is painless, and vision is restored almost immediately. In just a few hours patients can do most of their routine activities without the need for glasses.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) with excimer laser is a surgical technique used to correct dioptres with superficial ablation of the cornea. The laser is applied directly to the outer surface of the cornea to sculpt a new optical surface under the epithelium.
The main advantages of PRK are its simplicity, safety (the cornea does not need to be cut) and precision. However, at the end of the treatment the cornea is left without its epithelium, which must regenerate. This can lead to post-operative discomfort for the first few days.
PRK may be preferable in some cases, especially to correct slight myopia and in cases of opaque surfaces on the cornea that need to be removed.