Refractive Surgery Options LASIK

refractive surgery

A thin flap of epithelium and superficial cornea is cut and reflected exposing a central area of deeper cornea. A UV laser removes corneal tissue from the deeper surface in the central area. The flap is repositioned and allowed to naturally adhere with some glue.

LASIK can correct most visual problems. LASIK is a brilliant procedure and works in a very large percentage of cases. It has only a little pain involved and works well. Looking Smart Optometrists however only recommend LASIK on patients with stable prescriptions.

Clear Lensectomy

When refractive errors are too large to correct with laser surgeries like LASIK, a Clear Lensectomy may be the answer. This procedure involves the removal of the natural lens and replacement with an plastic lens (an intraocular lens or IOL). It is the same operation as cataract surgery but in cataract the natural lens has gone opaque.

The operation is generally performed under topical anaesthetic. First the natural lens is removed. Then an IOL (intracocular lens), calculated to correct the refractive error, is inserted. No sutures are required and post operative pain is minimal. Recovery of vision is very rapid with few limitations of activities.

With Clear Lensectomy, there are virtually no restrictions from the point of refraction, although at times 2 IOLs have to be piggy-backed to correct all of the refractive error. Since they are implanted, the risk of complications is slightly higher than with excimer laser surgeries. The procedure is only recommended and undertaken after your ophthalmic assessment.

Intralase

Intralase is a femtosecond laser which replaces the handheld microkeratome used by surgeons in the first stage of Lasik. This first stage involves creating a thin flap of corneal tissue which is then folded back to allow the second stage of the procedure, altering the corneal shape, to occur before the flap is returned to its original position.

Intralase uses computer guided ultrafast short light pulse technology to create microscopic bubbles within the cornea at a predetermined level. Thousands of these bubbles are precisely positioned next to each other causing the corneal tissue to separate. This process of photodisruption allows a corneal flap of exact diameter, depth, hinge position and location to be created.

The use of Intralase allows the Lasik procedure to be performed blade free and become a true all laser procedure.

Conductive Keroplasty

Presbyopia, the most common eye condition in Australia, is the inevitable loss of near vision that affects everyone sometime after they reach the age of 40. Conductive Keroplasty is the first non-laser procedure for presbyopia.

Approved by the FDA, Conductive Keroplasty (CK) improves near vision in presbyopic patients by using radio waves to bring near vision back into focus. NearVision CK is only for people over the age of 40 who want freedom from their reading glasses.

A safe, minimally invasive procedure, there is no cutting and no removal of tissue. The procedure is performed in just under 3 minutes in the doctor’s office with only topical anaesthesia.

Radio waves applied in a circular pattern to the outer cornea tighten it like a belt and make the central cornea steeper, bringing near vision back into focus. The procedure causes little or no discomfort and vision improvement is almost instantaneous. Only one eye is treated to facilitate reading.

The increasing severity of presbyopia combined with the regression effect of CK means that this procedure may need to be repeated some years after the initial procedure. CK is a low risk operation allowing reading vision for a number of years before reoperation may be necessary.

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Dr David O'Neill

David O’Neill is the Principle Optometrist and Owner of Looking Smart at Pelican Waters. David began his training in 1998 in Precision Eyewear. He was an optical dispenser and responsible for edging and making glasses. David's special interests include Paediatrics and Prescription Drug Prescribing as well as regular Optometry.