What Surgical Alternatives Are There Besides LASIK Eye Surgery?

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by Dougherty Laser Vision

Not everyone is the ideal candidate for LASIK eye surgery to correct vision problems. Sometimes, people have dry eyes or irregular corneas or are taking certain prescriptions where LASIK would be less than ideal. In other cases, people need a higher quality of vision than LASIK would provide.

Thanks to advances in lasers and vision correction surgical procedures, there are several different alternatives for people when LASIK is not an option. Among these choices are PRK vision correction, Visian ICL, and ReLEx® SMILE laser eye surgeries.

What is PRK Eye Surgery?

PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy is a vision correction laser surgery where the cornea is reshaped. A special excimer laser is used to correct refractive vision problems. The procedure is fairly quick, yet very precise.

Your eye surgeon will perform the following steps:

  1. Prepare the layer.
  2. Remove the epithelial layer.
  3. Use the excimer laser to sculpt the cornea and fix the refractive problem.
  4. Apply eye protection using a clear lens bandage until the epithelium heals in a few days.

Most people recover from their PRK vision correction surgery in about 48 hours and notice improvements in vision with a few hours post-surgery. A follow-up visit is scheduled the day after your surgery with a second follow-up in about a week or less.

What is Visian ICL Eye Surgery?

Visian ICL vision correction surgery is a newer laser eye surgery procedure. It was first approved by the FDA in December 2005. Dougherty Laser Vision was the first to start offering this procedure in the Western United States.

Dr. Dougherty also refined the procedure to create his own unique process that reduced the procedure from four separate surgeries into a single surgery, much like LASIK. The corrective vision surgery involved using a laser to make a small incision and insert a biocompatible lens behind the iris.

The ICL lens is a maintenance-free lens and remains in the eye all the time. The procedure is perfect for nearsighted people. Thanks to a recent advance, and FDA approval in 2018, we now offer the Visian Toric ICL, which is a variant of the Visian ICL and suited for people with both nearsightedness and astigmatism.

What is ReLEx® SMILE Eye Surgery?

ReLEx® Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) vision correction surgery uses a special femtosecond laser to reshape the cornea and fix vision problems. It is less invasive than LASIK. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the eye.

The laser is also used to create a round disc using tissues in the eye, similar in shape to a contact lens. This tissue is then carefully removed through the incision in the eye. The tissue is called a lenticule. By removing the lenticule, the shape of the cornea is changed to help improve vision.

Just like the other alternative laser eye surgery procedures, ReLEx® SMILE can be performed in a single visit. There will be a follow-up visit within a day or two of the procedure and a second follow-up visit in about a week.

Which Corrective Vision Laser Eye Surgery is Best?

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Each person has their own vision concerns and issues. As such, it is important to start with an initial consultation with our eye surgeon to discover what corrective visions laser eye surgeries would help bring the results you seek.

For some people, LASIK might be best. For other people, Visian ICL, ReLEx® SMILE, or PRK eye surgery can be a better choice. To find out what corrective vision laser eye surgery is best for you, please feel free to call Dougherty Laser Vision at (805) 864-5448 today!

We have five office locations in Westlake VillageCamarilloBeverly HillsSimi Valley, and Encino, CA. We also accept patients from all of the United States and internationally too!