LASIK Alternatives

Epi-LASIK

Epi-LASIK is a cutting edge type of LASIK eye surgery performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Epi-LASIK is a viable alternative to traditional LASIK and is performed by our surgeons at Spector Eye Care.

How does Epi-LASIK work?

Epi-LASIK involves cutting an ultra-thin flap from tissue known as epithelium that covers the very front of the eye’s cornea. Epi-LASIK differs from LASIK primarily due to the type of flap created. The flap cut is so thin that it does not penetrate the actual cornea, whereas LASIK actually penetrates into the cornea.

With Epi-LASIK the surgeon uses epithelial separator to separate the sheet from the eye. After the epithelial separator has created this ultra-thin flap, the flap is lifted and carefully folded back. The next step involves using an excimer laser, just like conventional LASIK. The laser treatment then occurs, thus reshaping the surface of the eye. The epithelial flap is then gently re-positioned back on the eye. A contact lens bandage may be required after the surgery to assist with the healing process.

Why Would I get Epi-LASIK surgery rather than conventional LASIK?

  • There are fewer flap complications with Epi-LASIK. The flaps are much thinner, so chances of complications may be reduced.
  • There is less dry eye with Epi-LASIK. Spector Eye Care specialists using Epi-LASIK have reported fewer instances of dry eye syndrome as a complication, possibly because the thinner flap does not hamper normal processes of corneal nerves involved in triggering responses necessary to moisten the eye’s surface.
  • Epi-LASIK may be more suitable for thinner corneas. Patients with thinner corneas or less cornea tissue appear to have less likelihood of complications with Epi-LASIK, because this method does not penetrate the cornea.

Refractive Lens Exchange

As we age, so do our eyes. This natural aging process is called presbyopia, and occurs as the lens in our eye loses its flexibility. With the loss of flexibility, we also lose the ability to see or read things up close. Generally, presbyopia occurs between the ages of 40 and 50. As we grow older, even those who have had perfect vision in the past will suffer from this condition. Although presbyopia cannot be cured, there is an alternative to glasses and contacts.

At Spector Eye Care, a Refractive Lens Exchange allows patients to reduce or possibly eliminate the need for contacts and glasses. When your quality of vision starts to interfere with the things you enjoy, you should discuss this procedure with your doctor.

How is a Refractive Lens Exchange different from LASIK?

Unlike LASIK, which concentrates on correcting the shape of the cornea, a Refractive Lens Exchange replaces the natural lens of your eye with an advanced multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens (IOL). During the Refractive Lens Exchange procedure at Spector Eye Care, your doctor will make a small incision in the edge of the cornea. A small probe is inserted through the incision to remove the natural lens and insert the IOL in its place.

The goal of a Refractive Lens Exchange is to achieve best-corrected vision and reduce the need for contacts and glasses. An additional benefit to a Refractive Lens Exchange is  preventive; for those who have not yet developed cataracts, removing the eye’s natural lens prevents the chance of developing cataracts later in life.

 

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