During your free consultation with Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, you and your eye surgeon may determine that LASIK is not the right fit. Fortunately, there are several safe and effective LASIK alternatives – each with its own pros and cons – that may appeal to you and help you reach glasses- and contacts-free lifestyle goals.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
The first laser corrective eye surgery, photorefractive keratectomy or PRK, works to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Despite the popularity of LASIK, PRK is still a great refractive surgery option that will allow you to live a life without relying on glasses or contacts.
Similar to LASIK, PRK involves reshaping the cornea to sharpen the vision. However, the technique used varies between these procedures. Where LASIK calls for an incision in the cornea, PRK does not. Instead, this surgery begins with the surgeon buffing away the epithelium, or the cornea’s thin, outer layer. This difference makes PRK a more ideal procedure for those with thin corneas.
While the epithelium does regenerate, it can take several days or even weeks to fully restore itself, which means a longer recovery time as compared to LASIK surgery. For this reason, you may not experience immediate results with your vision. However, as your eyes continue to heal, your vision will sharpen and stabilize.
Refractive Lens Exchange, Clear Lens Extraction (CLE)
Refractive Lens Exchange, also known as Clear Lens Exchange or CLE, is similar to the ICL procedure, as they both involve inserting an artificial lens to improve the vision. Unlike ICL, CLE requires fully replacing the natural lens with the artificial one, similar to cataract surgery.
This procedure can address nearsightedness, farsightedness, as well as presbyopia, an age-related vision impairment. However, it is not typically recommended if LASIK, PRK, or ICL are an option. This surgery lasts for approximately 15 minutes with a week of immediate recovery time and gradual visual improvements during your healing until reaching its final outcome.
Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)
Visian ICL is not a laser surgery but can still enhance vision for those with nearsightedness and astigmatism. In fact, an ICL is more similar to a contact lens in nature, except that it is inserted inside the eye. The implanted lens works with the natural lens to improve vision without inhibiting your eye’s natural ability to focus.
Visian ICL offers a quick, non-invasive option with an extremely speedy and low maintenance recovery for non-LASIK candidates. The incision made during the surgery is much smaller than that for LASIK and does not disrupt the corneal nerves, which means less dry eye complications. ICL is also a particularly excellent LASIK alternative for those with chronic dry eyes, high prescriptions, large pupils, and thin or irregular corneas.
Which Vision Correction Procedure Is Right for You?
At your free consultation, your Swagel Wootton Eye Institute surgeon will make their recommendations about the appropriate and viable LASIK alternatives based on your comprehensive eye exam and vision history. Together, you will find the best procedure to help you meet your vision goals.
Schedule your free consultation today to start seeing life through a new lens.
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