LASIK | Flapless | Cataract | Diabetic Eye Diseases | Dry Eyes
THE GENERATIONS OF LASER EYE SURGERY
PRK > LASIK > FLAPLESS
In 1948 a Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Ignacio Barraquer Moner was led up with glasses. He wanted a solution for the blurry vision that fixed the eye itself, without relying on external aids (glasses, contact lenses). The procedure he eventually devised was called “keratomileusis”- which came from Greek words meaning “carving” and “cornea”. The procedure was performed using a cryolathe, which froze thin flaps of corneal tissue and lathe them. After that, these reshaped flaps were placed under the front flap to correct refractive error. At that time, the usage of Excimer laser was not practiced yet in correcting blurry vision. Thank God and thank to the researchers and inventors for each generation of laser eye surgery, where now the surgery is minimally invasive and quick!
Commonly, laser eye surgery (with Excimer laser) has three generations. In the early 1990s, the first generation of laser eye surgery was conducted, and this sort of laser eye surgery was known as PRK or LASIK. The laser is applied directly to the surface of the eye in PRK or LASIK. This results in discomfort and watery eyes, as well as a slow visual recovery.
As a result, LASIK, the second generation of laser eye surgery, was developed. The LASIK treatment is divided into two phases. The first step is to generate a thin flap on the surface of the cornea with a femtosecond laser, which is then peeled open. The second stage is to sculpt the glasses prescription into the corner with an Excimer laser, which corrects the vision. The flap is then replaced, and vision returns quickly, usually within 24 hours, with minimal discomfort and just slight eye-watering.
Flapless or RELEX-SMILE is the third generation of laser eye surgery. This procedure works in the same way as LASIK, however, it’s done through a 4mm keyhole incision. There is no flap, and unlike LASIK, the flap is created with a 20mm incision. SMILE recovery is usually as quick as LASIK recovery, with mild discomfort and quick visual return.