Mayo Clinic offers several types of laser eye surgery, including:
Apr. 08, 2014
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery is the most common type of refractive laser eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery reshapes the transparent dome-shaped structure in the front of your eye (cornea).
In a LASIK procedure, a thin hinged flap of the superficial layer of the cornea is created and folded back. The exposed raw surface of the cornea is reshaped with a special laser to help correctly focus light rays to the back of your eye. The hinged flap is then unfolded and repositioned to its original location.
The entering light rays are then correctly focused on your retina, the layer of tissue located at the back of your eye that is responsible for vision.
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). PRK removes only the thin surface layer of the cornea (epithelium). Your surgeon then uses a laser to flatten the cornea or make its curve steeper.
Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK). LASEK is similar to LASIK surgery. However, in a LASEK procedure, your surgeon prepares a very thin flap of corneal tissue, which is thinner than the flap created with the standard LASIK procedure, before using the laser to reshape your cornea.
Because the procedure allows your surgeon to leave most of the deeper structures of the cornea undisturbed, it may be a good option for people who have thin corneas. People who play sports or have jobs that could cause trauma also may prefer LASEK, as an injury involving the thin flap of the cornea, compared with an injury involving the thicker flap with LASIK, is less likely to cause serious damage to the eye.
Epithelial laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (epi-LASIK). In an epi-LASIK procedure, doctors use a small mechanized blunt knife to separate the epithelium from the eye.
Your surgeon then uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This procedure is similar to LASEK.
- Bower KS. Laser refractive surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 15, 2013.
- LASIK — Laser eye surgery. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/glasses-contacts-lasik/lasik.cfm. Accessed July 15, 2013.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 29, 2013.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 28, 2013.