LASIK | What is Laser Vision Correction

Laser technology allows for great precision in eye surgery.

This is a procedure whereby a laser very precisely alters the contour of the front surface of the eye, the cornea, to treat various refractive errors (short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism).

To correct short-sightedness, the laser removes (or ablates) a very fine slither from the front corneal surface, causing the surface to become flatter.

Treatment of long-sightedness is where the laser ablates a ring of the peripheral front surface, resulting in the central cornea becoming steeper. 

There are two types of laser vision correction: LASIK and PRK. Most patient elect to have LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), where a femtosecond laser creates a very precise thickness flap in the cornea which is lifted, the ablation performed and then flap repositioned over the ablation. The flap is typically 110 to 120 micrometres thick. 

The less common treatment is PRK (phototherapeutic keratectomy). In this treatment the surface layer, the epithelium, is removed, the ablation performed and the epithelium’s natural regenerative capacity regrows to cover the ablated cornea. The typical thickness of corneal epithelium is 50 micrometres

In each case, the aim is to reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses. The treatment is most commonly performed for short-sightedness.