While many people have heard about different LASIK surgeries for refractive eye procedures, not to many of them really understand the differences between all of them, including custom and traditional LASIK, EPI-LASIK, PRK and LASEK. But it doesn't really matter if we consider that only one of them can be performed in our surgery. But the fact is that all these procedures have something in common, besides they are guided by the same principles.
No matter what kind of treatment the surgeon select in order to perform a refractive eye surgery, the fact is that the candidate must have the same qualities for qualification, means those who:
Is above 18 years of age and has had a stable glass or contact lens prescription for at least one year and had a sufficient corneal thickness to allow the surgeon to safely create a corneal flap of appropriate depth.
Is affected by one of the common refractive errors:
Myopia: -1.0 to -12.0D
Hypermetropia: +1.0 to +6.0D
Astigmatism: + or - 6.0D
Most LASIK Surgeons will agree that technology matters, because outcomes are better with the latest technology. The truth is that most patients who are interested in LASIK, don't really care the treatment and the kind of technology that will be use to perform their surgery, as long as they have good outcome in the end. But outcomes vary, upon many things including as we mention before the LASIK treatments. But how can you tell what is the best treatment for you? Can you actually request a particular treatment? The answer is "not", because most of these treatments were created in order to expand the variety of refractive eye surgery procedures due to the disqualification of many consumers for traditional LASIK surgery, even custom.
Now, the key to a successful outcome is definitely the correct treatment combined with the right technology, but correct treatment doesn't means that it is less risky. Patients need to understand that if they are a good candidate for surgery, it doesn't mean that doctor will create a flap in your cornea in order to proceed with Laser, because there's a few factors that need to be considered before;
Refraction that needs to be treating
Most doctors agreed with the fact of; while the cornea is less expose to be touch, less risky is the surgery and better outcome is the result.
If a patient has over 500 microns of cornea thickness, doctors will consider the patient to be a good candidate for LASIK surgery, as long as the refractive errors that need to be treated, don't expose the corneal tissue be out of the normal range accepted. In other words, if the patient has 500 microns of corneal thickness, but his/her refraction to be treated is -18.25 -0.25 x 100, the patient will not be corrected to 20/20 vision because there is not enough corneal tissue to be treated.
Refraction that needs to be treating
In this case, refraction treatment will depend on corneal thickness, as well technology, because the Excimer Laser has some restriction on the treatment range.
Technology (Laser for LASIK)
Because no all the Laser for LASIK are approved by the FDA to treat astigmatism, but it does not mean, that doctors can not treat astigmatism with that Laser machine, because FDA does not regulate or control doctors practice.
A good tip; will be, ask the doctor with what brand and model laser machine he/she will perform the LASIK surgery, and then, we invite you to check with us or with the FDA website, if the machine was approved by the FDA or not, in order to help your confident about your surgery.
For additional details about each one of these procedures please follow the links:
Page updated August 12, 2010