LASIK and PRK Laser Procedures
We are pleased that you are interested in the new procedures now available to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and reading vision. On the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute – Hersh Vision Group website, we hope to give you a thorough background of knowledge on the various techniques that are designed to decrease your dependency on glasses and contact lenses. We hope you find this informative. Remember, though, this is just a background to the things we do to improve your visual function. During your actual visits with us, Dr. Hersh and our staff will discuss the details of the various procedures, fully review the risks and benefits, discuss alternatives, and answer all of your questions.
The excimer laser is the primary technology for LASIK and PRK treatments of refractive errors or optical problems of the eye, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It has advanced over the past 25 years to bring us the state-of-the-art surgical procedures which we have today. In fact, CLEI and Dr. Peter Hersh played an important part in the original clinical studies of the laser for the correction of nearsightedness. Dr. Hersh was the lead author of the clinical study that led to first FDA approval of the excimer laser in the United States.
Excimer laser techniques may be used to reshape the cornea and correct refractive problems in a finely-controlled fashion by removing an ultrathin “tissue contact lens” from the surface of the eye. The excimer laser can be used in either the LASIK or PRK/LASEK techniques. No matter the method used to prepare the eye, the laser treatment and effect is essentially the same.
Under computer control, the excimer laser critically reshapes microscopic areas of the corneal surface. Layers of tissue thinner than a human hair may be removed. There are two general types of excimer lasers. Here at the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute, we prefer the small spot scanning, or flying spot, Wavelight laser. Under computer control, the laser reshapes the cornea by application of thousands of small spots, each less than 1 mm in diameter. The actual laser application takes less than a minute.
The risks and benefits of the excimer laser procedure are discussed in more detail in the informed consent form and will be carefully discussed with you by Dr. Hersh and our staff. The Cornea and Laser Eye Institute – Hersh Vision Institute has one of the longest and most extensive experiences with the excimer laser LASIK and PRK in the country, now 25 years. Please feel free to ask us for more information to determine what is best for your specific needs.