Refractive eye surgeries, such as PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK, LASIK, and Conductive Keratoplasty (CK), are procedures that are performed to correct refractive errors including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, as well as presbyopia (the loss of reading vision). The goal of these procedures is to reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. During each of these procedures, the cornea is precisely reshaped to correct the specific refractive error. Our refractive surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Minkovitz has been a leader in making each of these procedures available to Delaware residents, in several cases the first to do so. To schedule an appointment for a careful and thorough evaluation and discussion of alternatives, we invite you to contact Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A. in Wilmington, Delaware today.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is an eye surgery performed to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. It was the original method used for laser vision correction, and it remains an ideal choice, especially among those with thin corneas or prior eye surgery. Dr Minkovitz was involved in the early research before FDA approval, and was the first surgeon to make PRK available to his Delaware patients.
During the PRK surgery process, Dr. Minkovitz uses anesthetic drops to numb the eyes. First, the cornea’s outermost layer - the epithelium – is gently removed so that the deeper surface can be accessed. He then uses the sophisticated excimer laser to precisely reshape the cornea to the exact specifications determined by careful preoperative testing. Once the cornea has been reshaped, a contact lens will be placed over the eye to provide comfort and protection while the epithelium grows back.
The results of PRK surgery are comparable to those achieved with LASIK, though healing takes somewhat longer. The vast majority of patients experience exceptional improvement in their vision, with many achieving 20/20 vision or better, eliminating or greatly reducing the need for corrective lenses.
LASEK eye surgery is a variation on the original PRK treatment. The procedure differs from PRK in that an alcohol solution is used to remove the epithelium from the cornea, usually creating a thin "flap" which can be replaced. Once Dr. Minkovitz has created this flap, an excimer laser is utilized to reshape the cornea so that the eye's focusing power can be improved. After laser application, the epithelial flap is replaced. Since there is no incision made on the cornea, LASEK surgery may be ideal for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK; Again, healing may take longer than LASIK, but comparable results can be achieved in a less invasive manner.
LASIK eye surgery is a safe, effective way to improve refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Patients who choose to undergo custom LASIK will also be able to improve higher-order aberrations, those minute flaws in the shape of the cornea that nevertheless affect visual acuity. The vast majority of patients who undergo LASIK emerge from the procedure with dramatically improved vision, with many being achieving 20/20 vision without the need for corrective lenses.
During the LASIK procedure at our Wilmington, Delaware eye surgery center, Dr. Minkovitz first numbs the eyes with anesthetic drops. He then creates a flap in the outermost layer of the cornea with a highly precise device called a microkeratome. This allows him to access the underlying corneal layers, flaws in the shape of which are responsible for visual errors. Using an excimer laser, he reshapes the cornea, a process that requires about a minute per eye. After Dr. Minkovitz has achieved the optimal corneal shape, he carefully replaces the flap, which self-heals without the need for stitches or bandages. Improvements in vision are usually immediately noticeable, although vision will continue to improve over weeks and months. The final results are typically clear, crisp vision and, in most cases, complete independence from glasses and contact lenses.
Initially developed as a safer alternative for patients with thin corneas, dry eyes, or active lifestyles, the Epi-LASIK procedure is similar to PRK and LASEK in that it corrects the same visual errors and no incisions are made to cut a corneal flap. Only the thin epithelial layer is removed, a layer which quickly regenerates. Unlike LASEK, no irritating alcohol solution is used. Instead, Dr. Minkovitz uses an instrument called an epi-keratome to create a thin, hinged sheet of epithelial cells in the surface layer of the cornea. After moving this sheet to one side he uses the excimer laser to precisely reshape the cornea. This can be done according to preoperative refractive measuremements, or using data from wavefront guided custom measurements for the most accurate results available. Finally, the epithelial sheet may be replaced and a special contact lens placed on the eye to facilitate healing and comfort. As in LASIK, visual recovery is rapid (though not as rapid as LASIK) but without any potential for intraoperative or postoperative flap related complications or injury. This added safety, as well as equal or better accuracy, has made epi-LASIK Dr. Minkovitz's procedure of choice. To learn whether you are a good candidate for epi-LASIK, or one of the other alternatives for the correction of myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, please contact Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A. in Wilmington, Delaware today to schedule a consultation.
Conductive Keratoplasty (Near-Vision CK) is a treatment to improve mild to moderate hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia (the age-related farsightedness that occurs due to the loss of elasticity in the natural lens). Instead of using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, as with LASIK, Dr. Minkovitz uses a fine probe that transmits radio waves. The heat from the radio waves creates an ring of spots that shrink as they heal. This shrinking process tightens the central area of the cornea, thereby making it steeper. Dr. Minkovitz adjusts the number, location, and pattern of the spots according to the level of correction appropriate to the individual patient. Near vision CK is potentially ideal for older patients who struggle to focus on close-up objects.
One of the earliest treatments used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), radial keratotomy (RK) flattens the cornea through the careful, strategic placement of several small incisions around its outer layer. It is rarely performed today, given the safer, more accurate, and more stable laser procedures now available. Contact Us for Further Information about PRK, Epi-LASIK, LASEK, or LASIK
The eye care professionals at Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A. invite you to learn more about how you can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. You, too, can see the world through new eyes! Contact Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A., in Wilmington, Delaware for further information about Epi-LASIK, LASEK, PRK, near vision CK, or LASIK eye surgery or to schedule a consultation today. Only through a careful evaluation and a patient discussion of your options can you make the right decision about your vision correction.
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