The surveys conducted in 2004 by members of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery indicated that 948, 266 refractive surgery processes were carried out in the United States alone in 2005.
Refractive eye surgery is used to make the refractive state of the eye better and lessen or get rid of the need of wearing spectacles or contacts. Refractive Surgery deals with correcting or reforming the cornea or the cataract surgery procedures. Refractive eye surgery can improve vision and is a cure for diseases such as hyperopia, myopia and astimgmatism.
Refractive Eye Surgery includes the following procedures:
- AK (Arcuate keratotomy)
- ALK (Automated lamellar keratoplasty)
- CK (Conductive Keratoplasty)
- ICRs (Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segments)
- LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy )
- LASIK (laser assisted in situ leratonileusis)
- LRI (Limbal Relaxing Incisions)
- LRP (Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy)
- LTK (Laser Thermal Keratoplasty)
- PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy)
- RK (Radial keratotomy)
Some of the surgical procedures are:
Arcuate keratotomy (AK) is related to radial keratotomy, but the cuts on the cornea are performed on the periphery of the cornea. Arcuate keratotomy is a treatment for astigmatism. Arcuate keratotomy is not replaced by LASIK as it is used in special cases which include improvement of the residual astigmatism left at the end of any keratoplasty process or between cataract surgeries.
Automated lamellar keratoplasty
Automated lamellar keratoplasty (ALK) is a type of Refractive Eye Surgery in which vision is improved in people going through nearsightedness and some degrees of farsightedness. Automated lamellar keratoplasty is replaced by other vision correction processes and is not a routine procedure.
Automated lamellar keratoplasty is carried out under local anesthesia and takes approximately less than an hour to end. An incisive device makes a tiny incomplete flap across the cornea. Subsequently, as the corneal flap is connected to one side, it is folded back to disclose the layer of tissue beneath it. Next a very accurate cut is made on the sub layer of the tissue which is basically based on the person’s eyesight. In the end, the corneal flap is put back on the eye where it reattaches itself to the eye.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) is carried out with electric probes of very high frequency. Conductive Keratoplasty is also used to improve vision as a person starts aging and going through presbyopia.
Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy or Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis is a treatment for improving vision so that the need for spectacles or contacts is reduced or even eliminated.
In Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy, the epithelium is not detached; however an alcoholic solution is used to deteriorate the epithelial cells. The surgeon then folds the epithelial layer out of the area of treatment and then puts it back to its original destination after the laser replaces the cornea. If the epithelial flap is not tough or strong enough to put back to its original position, it shall be removed then. In this situation, LASEK becomes a PRK process.
The most abundant type of laser surgery performed these days is LASIK (laser assisted in situ leratonileusis) because it helps affected people acquire vision of 20/20 like everyone else.
Research carried out by Magill Research Center for Vision Correction, Medical University of South Carolina shows that the percentage of patient satisfaction following LASIK surgery was 95.4%. In Myopic patients, the satisfaction rate was 95.3% while in hyperopic patients; the LASIK satisfaction rate was 96.3%. The conclusion drawn was that overall (95.4%) patients were satisfied with LASIK Refractive Eye Surgery.
Laser assisted in situ leratonileusis (LASIK) is used for improving astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia syndromes. It is carried out by an ophthalmologist. The benefits of laser assisted in situ leratonileusis include fast recovery. Laser assisted in situ leratonileusis (LASIK) is advancement over radial keratotomy in the treatment of vision disorders and is therefore a substitute for glasses or contacts.
Limbal Relaxing Incisions
Limbal Relaxing Incisions are cuts near the outer region of the iris. It is used to improve minor astigmatism which are usually less than 2 diopters. Limbal Relaxing Incisions is frequently executed in combination with an intraocular lens.
Laser thermal Keratoplasty
In laser thermal Keratoplasty (LTK), there is no physical contact with the eye. It is carried out via Holmium laser. It can be used to correct presbyopia or vision after the age of 40.
Radial keratotomy (RK) is used to change the shape of the cornea by using spoke-shaped incisions which are typically made with a diamond knife. Radial keratotomy reduces astigmatism or myopia. However Radial keratotomy is now substituted by several other methods which use excimer laser.