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6 Types of Laser Vision Correction and Who Qualifies For Them

Cataract Surgery / November 30, 2021

Kansas City Eye Surgeons Carefully Determine Candidacy for LASIK Surgery and More Through Exams and Health History

Doctors around the world perform about 600,000 LASIK surgeries every year, but it’s not the only laser vision correction surgery available. Depending on your vision goals, your current vision prescription, and your health history, you may qualify for one of many vision correction procedures available.

Currently, Durrie Vision is the only facility in the region offering all six laser vision correction surgeries, including advanced refractive cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange. Each of these surgeries help patients achieve different goals, and your eye surgeon will determine which is right for you. Here’s what you should know about your options in the Kansas City metro area.

What is SBK Advanced LASIK Surgery?

LASIK is one of the most common vision correction procedures. Durrie Vison’s SBK Advanced LASIK is one of the more advanced forms, treating common conditions like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism.

During this procedure, your eye surgeon creates a micro-thin circular flap in your cornea using a femtosecond laser. Then, a computer-guided excimer laser removes the corneal tissue to reshape the cornea, correcting the refractive error.

The recovery time after surgery is quick. Patients experience blurry vision for a few hours following surgery, but it improves rapidly thereafter. The morning after surgery, patients attend a post-operative visit, and most are able to return to work and resume all their usual activities after the exam.

Who Can Get LASIK?

Although LASIK surgery is common, not everyone is a candidate. SBK Advanced LASIK is right for patients who are at least 18 years old. Qualifying for the surgery depends on the patient’s refractive error and the thickness and shape of the cornea.

Our eye surgeons also conduct an Advanced Ocular Analysis and diagnostic testing that determine whether a patient is a potential candidate for LASIK surgery.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a laser vision correction procedure that involves replacing your dysfunctional natural lens with a premium intraocular lens. RLE prevents cataracts from developing in the future, while reducing or eliminating the need to wear glasses or bifocals. It corrects refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Recovery from RLE requires post-operative visits after one day, one week, one month, three months, and one year. However, patients can resume most of their normal daily activities with some restrictions after their one-day post-operative exam. After surgery, patients must also use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for a few weeks.

Who Qualifies for Refractive Lens Exchange?

Patients who are age 50 or older who are experiencing difficulty reading without glasses or bifocals, seeing near objects, seeing while driving, suffer from a high degree of farsightedness, changing glasses prescriptions, or early diagnosis of cataracts.

Just like with LASIK, our eye surgeons will conduct an Advanced Ocular Analysis and look at a patient’s eye health to determine whether someone is a candidate for RLE.

What is Refractive Cataract Surgery?

The development of cataracts is almost inevitable as people age. Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, hard, and yellow. Refractive cataract surgery removes this dysfunctional lens and replaces it with an artificial one.

Not only does the artificial lens remove the cataract, but it also can correct a patient’s vision and eliminate their dependency on glasses and bifocals. Common vision conditions corrected by this type of cataract surgery include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

After the operation, patients follow the same recovery plan as those who underwent RLE..

Who is Eligible for Refractive Cataract Surgery?

Refractive surgeons perform this type of cataract surgery on patients who currently suffer from cataracts.

Most commonly, those with cataracts are older adults, who are experiencing cloudy, blurred, or dim vision; fading or yellowing of colors; increased difficulty with night vision; double vision in an eye; halos around lights; sensitivity to light and glare; difficulty reading in dim light; and frequent changes in glasses prescriptions.

Only a refractive surgeon can determine whether you’re a candidate for this cataract surgery at Durrie Vision in Overland Park, Kansas.

What is Advanced Surface Ablation?

Advanced Surface Ablation – also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) – corrects a patient’s vision by reshaping the cornea. The eye surgeon removes the outer skin of the cornea and applies the laser directly to the cornea.

PRK has a longer healing time than LASIK to accommodate for epithelium healing, which can take up to three days after the vision correction surgery. However, it can take a couple of weeks for a patient’s vision to become clear.

Who Can Get Advanced Surface Ablation?

PRK is ideal for patients with limited corneal thickness or scarring from contacts or previous eye surgeries, who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery. It corrects common refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Candidates for PRK, like all laser vision correction, must be at least 18 years old.

What Is SMILE Laser Vision Correction?

SMILE is an acronym that stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It’s a minimally-invasive procedure that corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism and is a LASIK surgery alternative for certain patients.

Using a femtosecond laser, an eye surgeon cuts a thin layer, and creates a small opening in the cornea. The surgeon removes the lenticule to change the shape of the cornea. The result is a corrected dysfunctional refraction.

During recovery, patients experience blurry vision for the first few hours, before their vision rapidly improves. Only one post-operative visit the day after the procedure is necessary.

Who is a Candidate for SMILE Laser Vision Correction?

During an Advanced Ocular Analysis, the eye surgeons at Durrie Vision examine the thickness and shape of a patient’s cornea and determine the degree of the refractive error.

Candidates for SMILE must be at least 18 years old and suffer from mild to moderate nearsightedness or astigmatism, or both.

What are Phakic IOLs?

Phakic intraocular lenses are designed for people who aren’t candidates for LASIK surgery due to extreme nearsightedness. During this vision correction procedure, eye surgeons place microscopic lenses behind the iris and in front of the patient’s natural lens.

This implanted lens focuses light properly onto the retina to create clear vision or reduce a patient’s dependency on thick glasses or powerful contact lenses.

During the recovery period, patients must wear eye shields while they sleep for the first week, and apply eye drops per their eye surgeon’s instructions. Most patients experience an improvement in vision within 24 hours, achieving their optimal results within a week.

One post-operative visit is necessary the morning after laser vision correction, and patients can resume their normal activities within a couple of days.

Who Can Get Phakic IOLs?

Patients with extreme nearsightedness can be eligible for Phakic IOLs, depending on the rest of the findings from the Advanced Ocular Analysis conducted at Durrie Vision. These are patients who may not be eligible for LASIK surgery due to the severity of their refractive error.

Patients eligible for Phakic IOLs must be at least 18 years old and have no history of eye disease.

Find Out If You’re a Candidate for Laser Vision Correction at Durrie Vision

Only eye surgeons or refractive surgeons can identify which laser vision correction procedure is right for you. If you’re tired of blurry or dim vision or hate not being able to see when you wake up before you put your glasses on, then it’s time to ask our medical providers at Durrie Vision about improving your eyesight.

We’ll analyze your vision and eye health using the most advanced tests available so that we can recommend a procedure that suits your vision needs and goals.

Get started on your path to better vision by taking our online candidacy test or by calling us to schedule a consultation with an eye surgeon.