Laser vision correction has been performed since the late 1980"s. While many people regard this as a new operation it has been performed for greater than 20 years.
In our country laser vision correction is performed in 2 principal ways. Of these PRK was the first surgical procedure to be performed followed several years later by lasik. Both of these procedures are performed on the outside of the eye on the cornea which serves as the main lens of the eye. With PRK surface epithelial cells are removed followed by laser reshaping of the cornea. With lasik the surface epithelial cells are left intact and the cornea is reshaped underneath a flap made on the cornea. When lasik became available it largely replaced PRK for two principal reasons; the first was to eliminate scarring which was associated with PRK. When laser energy is applied under a flap as with lasik it was noted that no scarring occurs. The second reason for Lasik's popularity is due to the rapid healing associated with this procedure. Patients are able to go about their nomal activities the very next day with vision usually better than what they had previously with their glasses or contact lenses.
PRK has had a resurgence, however for several reasons. The most important being that scarring has largely been eliminated thanks to an antimetabolite known as mitomycin. Other reasons are due to safety concerns. For instance PRK is favored with irregularly shaped, thin, or scarred corneas. People involved in combat are also best left without a flap which could potentially become dislodged. However, these people are in the minority and with the decreased healing time as well as increased comfort associated with lasik this will certainly remain the dominant operation for at least the near future.
For those interested in learning more about these exciting procedures we recommend you come to our new state of the art office for a free lasik consultation, or even better yet come to one of our monthly lasik seminars. All attendees are eligible for a $1000.00 discount at the time of surgery. When you come you are invited to inspect our new lasik facility which will be operational in early November.