LASIK is an acronym for Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis and is the most frequently performed elective eye surgery in the United States. LASIK eye surgery is used to correct myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia in patients by cutting a flap on the outer eye to provide access to the inner corneal tissue. Those inner layers are reshaped by laser light pulses to improve vision, and in many cases eliminate the need for glasses. After the reshaping, the flap is put back into place where it is allowed to heal for the next several hours.
While the basic procedure is the same for all LASIK surgeries, there are several variations in the basic procedure that may be used to achieve results.
LASEK is short for epithelial keratomileusis and involves creating a flap and then using an alcohol solution to loosen epithelial cells. After the laser reshapes the cornea, the flap is replaced and secured with a soft contact lens to allow healing to take place.
EpiLASIK involves separating a thin layer of the outer eye and then reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser. In some cases, the thin layer is left off or it may be replaced. The eye is covered with a soft contact lens to promote healing.
Wavefront LASIK uses state-of-the-art analysis known as wavefront, to measure how light travels through the eye. Excimer lasers equipped with wavefront analysis are able to detect and adjust for very small vision errors with the laser which is then applied to the eye. This provides the most accurate procedure and has been shown to reduce the amount of night glare after LASIK surgery, which can be one of the side effects of the surgery.
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