LASIK, LASEK and LASIK. An Excellent Overview of Laser Vision Correction and terms
by Dr. David Malitz
Sometimes LASIK is misspelled as “lasic” or “lasix”. LASIK is an acryonym for Laser Assisted InSitu Keratomileusis which is a term to represent the reshaping of the cornea in the patient by means fo a laser. Lasek is similar to LASIK and more similar to PRK (Photorefractivekeratectomy) but Lasek preserves the epithelium (surface cells) and places these cells back on the cornea after the procedure. LASIK, LASEK and PRK are all forms of laser eye correction or corrective eye surgery. Other terms to describe LASIK, LASEK and PRK include laser eye treatment, and a more inclusive term “eye surgery”. The most accurate term to describe LASIK, LASEK and PRK is laser vision correction. Some people describe their vision after the procedure as “laser vision”. This term, laser vision, really has no meaning. Some cartoons have lasers emanating from the eyes of a character. Naturally this has nothing to do with LASIK, LASEK and PRK. The LASIK “flap” is a thin superficial layer of the cornea that is elevated and folded back to allow for the excimer laser to be applied to the eye. Laser surgery is not limited to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Laser surgery can be for skin, brain, general surgery, cosmetic surgery and other applications. Laser vision surgery usually refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Likewise vision correction surgery ususally refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK but can be used for RK, AK, CK, LRI, ICL, LTK, C-Lex, PreLex and a variety of other procedures to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Laser vision correction surgery is more specific and refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Laser eye surgery costs can vary widely but generally LASIK, LASEK and PRK are about $2000/eye. Often financing is available for LASIK, LASEK and PRK and the price can be as little as $1/day/eye for LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Lazer eye surgery is just a misspelling of Laser eye surgery. Lasek surgery has been described above. Lasic eye surgery again is just a misspelling of LASIK eye surgery and refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Lasic surgery again, a misspelling, but even though “eye” is not included, LASIK, LASEK and PRK are only used on the eyes. EpiLASIK refers to LASIK performed with a thin flap. The thinner the flap, the higher the risk of wrinkles in the LASIK flap and the higher the liklihood of a buttonhole in the LASIK flap. PRK laser eye surgery is different from LASIK and predated LASIK and has withstood the test of time. With PRK, there is no LASIK “flap”, eliminating the risk of flap complications. PRK surgery just refers to the surgical procedure of PRK. Refractive eye surgery is an all encompassing term that includes LASIK, LASEK and PRK but is not limited to LASIK, LASEK and PRK and includes all procedures intended to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Eye doctors are really the only individuals trained to perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK. With that said, anyone can learn to do LASIK, LASEK and PRK but it really takes a formal education and experience and dedication to fully understand the procedure, the risks, the benefits and the techniques and technology that is used to perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK. With that said, privileges to perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK have been exclusively the domain of eye doctors called Ophthalmologists, but in the infinite wisdom of legislators in two states and with the generous contributions of Optometrists, legislators have conferred surgical privileges on non medical doctors, or Optometrists. If you are seriously considering LASIK, LASEK and PRK, it is important to find a doctor with training, skills, certification and experience to optomize your chance of an excellent outcome. Eye laser surgery again typically refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK but it can also refer to retinal laser surgery for diabetes or macular degeneration or a vein occlusion or the growth of abnormal vessels or treatment for glaucoma (ALT or SLT). Refractive surgery is the branch of eye care dealing with procedures that reduce or eliminate need for glasses by surgery. An Optometrist is a doctor that has generally graduated from college and generally has 4 additional years of eye doctor training where they learn a variety about the eye including prescribing glasses and contact lenses, and some medical care of the eye. Optometrists in the past could not even prescribe or use medications so they developed the Air Puff to check the eye pressure as they were not able to instill numbing drops in the eye to touch the eye with a specialized device to best determine the pressure for glaucoma. Now in all states Optometrists not only can use drops in the office, they can prescribe drops. Some states require supervision by a medical doctor. All doctors and nurses and even you can ascess your vision or visual acuity. Normal vision is 20/20. Ophthalmology is the discipline of medicine that specializes in the medical, optical and surgical treatment of the eye. An prescription has a mathmatical depiction that can be described as a wavefront. By analyzing the wavefront of the eye, the surgeon can best correct abberations of the optical pathway. Laser eye operation is a term that encompasses LASIK, LASEK and PRK but also encompasses other procedures and wavelengths of laser that are used on or in the eye. The most common types of eye lasers are the Argon, Yag Diode and Excimer. Zyoptix is the proprietary name for one companies Wavefront vision correction platform. Eye surgeons collectively perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Laser eye surgery clinics specialize in LASIK, LASEK and PRK. At first look this may seem to be an ideal place to have LASIK, LASEK and PRK as they are specialists. The surgeon is either an employee or independent contractor and is only paid 85-135/eye and often has little connection with the practice or patient. Furthermore, they may not even offer procedures that may be better suited to you. For example if you are farsighted and over 40, a clear lens exchange can offer the possibility of clear distance, intermediate and near vision for a lifetime. LASIK, LASEK and PRK tend to regress or result in a loss of vision when done for highly hyperopic patients. For nearsightedness LASIK, LASEK and PRK may be the best procedure, especially if you are young and on a budget. Really if you are considering LASIK, LASEK and PRK you should find the best laser eye surgeon to insure the best results for your LASIK, LASEK or PRK. Even if you have to travel to Las Vegas or Indiana (
http://sweyeinstitute.com http://oveye.com) it can be worth the expense as you will never get a second chance with your eyes. It is much more difficult to correct a LASIK, LASEK and PRK complication than it is to just avoid it by selecting an experienced team to perform LASIK, LASEK and PRK. When doing your research you may rely on laser eye surgery reviews but many of the top ratings go to the highest bidder. Several websites specialize in the business of directing you to a surgeon. For this they receive a fee. Optometrists usually receive a fee as well so if you want unbiased information, it may be difficult to come by. You may want to ask your medical doctor. Generally if an eye doctor has a poor reputation or an excellent reputation, your medical doctor will know. An optometrist that is not participating in the income stream will generally offer an unbiased review as well. You can get laser eye surgery information online, in the library, from your doctor and in magazines and newspapers as well as brochures in the doctors’ offices. The manufacturers will have information on their websites about LASIK, LASEK and PRK. The cost of laser eye surgery is a significan factor holding many patients back. Many patients are unaware that with financing the LASIK, LASEK and PRK procedures can be quite affordable. PRK surgery costs are usually the same as LASIK and LASEK but some centers charge less or more as there is less equipment needs but more patient care involved. Corrective eye surgery generally refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. It can also refer to a clear lens exchange or replacement of the natural lens with a man made custom lens. Wavefront eye surgery takes your unique optical properties into account when planning the LASIK, LASEK and PRK treatment. Laser eye correction surgery generally refers to LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Wavefront laser eye surgery is the same as wavefront LASIK, LASEK and PRK as wavefront technology can be used to optomize LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Lasek eye surgery is similar to LASIK and PRK but in PRK the epithelium is discarded, in LASEK it is put back in place. Lasek laser eye surgery is somewhat of a redundant term as LASIK, LASEK and PRK all refer to laser eye surgery. PRK cost varies but generally is about $2000/eye. You may see ads for $295 or $495 and sometimes if you have a very minor prescription or if you have your surgery done in a second tier center or in Mexico or by a trainee, you may be able to save some money. Some good advice: don’t look for the best bargain in parachutes or eye surgery. Laser eye surgery is all encompassing and includes LASIK, LASEK and PRK and other procedures that are not even designed to eliminate glasses. Wavefront prk is the application of wavefront laser treatment patterns to reduce the wavefront error of the pateint’s eye. PRK procedure is the laser application to the eye after removing the surface cells (epithelium). PRK is a two step procedure. A bandage contact lens is generally applied for 3-5 days afer the surgery to aid in the regrowth of the epithelium and to provide better comfort. Laser correction must be precise and predictable when used for LASIK, LASEK and PRK. If you would like more information on LASIK, LASEK and PRK. Just ask an expert. Send an email to Dr. Malitz at firstname.lastname@example.org .