Port Moody, BC | 604.469.8428
Laser Eye Surgery Consultation

Laser Eye Surgery: Understanding Your Options

Ophthalmologists have been using lasers in refractive surgeries since the 80’s. As the years have passed, technologies have changed, new methods have been discovered, and long term effects have been documented. As a result, we now have a variety of laser eye surgery options. But how do you know which option best serves your needs?

Port Moody Eye Care is here to help you understand the options and explain which one will suit you best.

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We want to help you navigate through the world of laser eye correction. Contact us today for your consultation, and we’ll determine if you’re a candidate for surgery.

PRK

PRK (or photorefractive keratectomy) is the first corrective procedure that employed the use of lasers. In it, doctors would shave off additional corneal tissue from the surface of the eye, effectively reshaping the cornea. The eye’s new shape would then be able to refract light properly, giving the patient clear vision.

PRK faded in popularity a little bit with the invention of LASIK. However, PRK is regaining popularity, as some doctors find it to be a safer option for some patients.

Advantages

Since PRK involves cutting tissue directly from the surface of the eye, there is no risk of the flap issues which can occur after LASIK or LASEK. PRK is a safer option for patients with thin corneas.

Disadvantages

There is a higher level of pain and discomfort associated with PRK than other surgeries. In addition to discomfort during the procedure itself, there also tends to be more discomfort during the healing process, which takes somewhat longer than that of other operations.

Because the outer layer of the eye has been compromised, patients recovering from PRK are at higher risk of infection during healing. There can also sometimes be a haze that develops over the cornea which may or may not affect vision. This haze is temporary, lasting up to 6 months.

LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery in the world today. Rather than reshaping the cornea from the outside, ophthalmologists create a flap in the outside layers of the cornea, folding it back to reveal the inner layers. After reshaping the inner corneal tissue, they replace the flap. This procedure takes about 15 minutes per eye.

Advantages

Because the outer layer of the cornea is left intact for the most part, LASIK heals significantly faster than PRK, with a reduced risk of infection. There is little to no pain associated with LASIK, both during the actual procedure and during the recovery process. Your vision also clears up significantly faster; you should be able to see clearly within 24 hours of your surgery.

Disadvantages

Although there is a smaller chance of infection with LASIK, there is also a risk of flap-related complications. If the patient rubs their eye or takes part in any strenuous activity shortly after surgery, this could dislodge the flap, potentially causing significant damage to the eye. LASIK is not an option for patients with thin corneas, as the risk of inflicting serious irreversible damage is too high.

LASEK is similar to LASIK in that the ophthalmologist still reshapes the middle layer of the cornea. However, where the LASIK creates a flap in the outer layer, LASEK removes the outer layer with a solution of alcohol. The outer layer stays off the eye while the surgeon reshapes the middle layer of the cornea, replacing it upon completion. The cornea is then covered with a special contact lens for a couple of days, keeping it in place and allowing it to heal.

Advantages

Because LASEK doesn’t use a corneal flap, it is safe for patients with thin corneas and does not have the same risk of flap-related complications. The special contact lenses given to the patient keep the corneas very safe and secure, which significantly reduces the risk of infection.

Disadvantages

This is some discomfort associated with the LASEK procedure and recovery process. Patients usually find that recovery takes longer with LASEK than with LASIK, taking up to a week to regain clear vision. The alcohol solution used on the eye during the procedure can exacerbate pre-existing dry eye symptoms.

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Visit our office across from Port Moody City Hall in the Heritage Mountain Plaza, Right next to Shoppers Drug Mart.

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260-221 Ioco Rd
Port Moody, BC V3H 4H2

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