What is Cornea and Refractive Surgery?
Cornea and Refractive/Laser surgery can also be referred to as Vision correction surgery. It refers to the surgical procedure used to deal with vision problems. Recent years have seen huge advances in this field. Refractive and laser eye surgery allow patients to see better than any other time in their lives. Most of the times patients may give up using eye glasses or contact lenses altogether after this surgery.
Vision correction surgeries mainly reshape the cornea i.e. the clear front part of your eye which allows light travel through it and focus properly on the back of your eye i.e.the retina.
Types of the Cornea and Refractive Surgeries
1. ICL Surgery
ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is a type of lens which is permanently implanted in the eyes. ICL is generally used to treat patients having myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (distorted vision).
Implanting an ICL requires surgery. A surgeon places the lens between the eye’s natural lens and colored iris. The lens works the eye’s existing lens to bend (refract) light on the retina, which produces clearer vision. Though ICL surgery isn’t necessary to correct vision problems, it can eliminate or reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Advantages of having an implantable collamer lens(ICL)
Apart from improving vision, ICL also has other benefits:
- Helps fixing severe nearsightedness that may not be corrected with other surgeries.
- This lens is less likely to cause dry eyes, ideal for patients having chronically dry eyes.
- Though it’s a permanent type of lens but if required it can be removed.
- This lens provide excellent night vision.
- Recovery from this surgery is generally quick as tissues aren’t removed.
2. Cornea Transplant Surgery
A corneal transplant may be able to restore or improve a patient’s vision, in case the patient has suffered an injury or disease damages the cornea (is the clear, dome-shaped surface of the front of the eye). Cornea transplant is generally an outpatient procedure. Most corneal transplants have a favorable outcome, and success rates are rising as techniques and training methods improve.
A corneal transplant may treat the following problems of the cornea:
- Fuchs’ dystrophy (i.e. degeneration of the innermost layer of cornea)
- lattice dystrophy
- corneal ulcer, which is often caused by trauma, such as a scratched cornea
- scarring, clouding, or swelling of the cornea due to infections or injuries
- thinning of the cornea
- outward bulging cornea
3. LASIK Surgery
LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) is the most common laser eye surgery performed on patients to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Just like the other types of refractive surgery, the LASIK surgery also reshapes the cornea to enable light to enter the eye to focus on the retina without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
LASIK is mostly pain-free and requires only about 15-20 minutes to treat both eyes. Vision improvement in this type of surgery is immediate and often stabilizes in as early as 24 hours. Also, this correction improves the vision by 100%. In comparison to conventional methods like glasses and contact lenses. This is the reason why this surgery has become most effective and predominant procedure in the last 25-30 years.
Advantages of LASIK Surgery
- After LASIK, patients no longer require vision glasses or contact eyes
- LASIK can completely change the vision condition and brings back the lost sight
- Painless since numbing eye drops are used
- Vision gets corrected almost immediately or the next day after LASIK
- No bandages or stitches are required in this treatment
- Adjustments can be made years after LASIK incase further correction of vision is required with old age
At An-Noor Eye Hospital we also use Femto LASIK which is considered the most highly advanced technology. The inclusion of Femto Lasik in refraction error surgery has raised safety to a new level because the side effects and the tensions in the cornea are kept to the minimum. Also, this is an outpatient procedure and does not require hospitalization. Generally anesthetic eye drops are used and the patient is awake during the entire procedure. Almost normal sight capacity is restored and the patient can enjoy the results the very same day following the surgery.
Benefits of Femto-Lasik are:
- Precise, safer and accurate procedure
- Painless, bladeless technique
- Very fast recovery period
- No complications as cuts are avoided
- Wider band of refractive error correction
- Patients ineligible for Lasik can use FEMTO LASIK
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