Laser Procedures Compared

The evolution of laser vision correction

1980 - 2000
Description
Late 1980ies
PRK
(photorefractive keratectomy)

An Excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea and therefore change its refractive power. The ablation occurs on the corneal surface after the outer cell layer, the epithelium, is removed.

» Correction is based on prescription
» Relatively long duration of postoperative pain or discomfort
» Slow healing process (4 to 6 weeks with vision fluctuations)
» Enhancement procedure is possible

Description
1993
LASIK
(Laser-in-situ-Keratomileusis)

With LASIK, the area of ablation moved from the surface of the cornea to its stroma: A tiny blade, the so-called microkeratome, is used to cut a thin flap into the cornea. This flap is lifted and the corneal stroma exposed. After the ablation, the flap is folded back.

» Correction is based on prescription
» Faster healing process, fewer vision fluctuations
» No pain after the procedure
» Enhancement procedure is easily possible by lifting the flap

Description
2000
Wavefront LASIK

The aberrometer is a diagnostic device that measures the refractive power of the eye at more than 200 different spots. It produces a "map" which reflects the precise refractive power of the eye for every measured spot. The results are used to customize the LASIK procedure (Wavefront-guided LASIK), resulting in better vision, especially at dawn and dusk.

» Correction is based over 200 measurements
» "customized" LASIK

2001 - 2010
Description
2004
Femto-LASIK

The femtosecond laser replaces the mechanical microkeratome.

» "All-Laser-LASIK"
» Individual shaping of the corneal flap
» Improved healing, faster visual rehabilitation
» Reduction of "cutting errors"

Description
2007
Monovision LASIK

Special LASIK procedure to correct presbyopia: One eye is corrected for near vision and the other eye (typically the dominant eye) is corrected for distance vision. For presbyopic patients, Monovision LASIK reduces the need to use reading glasses.

Description
2008
Individual LASIK

The wavefront-guided All-laser LASIK, also called individual Femto-LASIK or iLASIK, is the most modern LASIK procedure available today. It allows for the first time to customize all steps of the LASIK procedure. This customization allows an individual correction of the refractive error and therefore leads to optimized results.

» Customized flap creation
» Customized ablation
» Optimized results

2011 - today
Description
2011
Laser Lens Exchange

The Laser Refractive Lens Exchange is used for correction of severe nearsightedness (- 8 dpt and higher) and severe farsightedness (+ 4 dpt and higher), mostly in combination with presbyopia.

» Femtosecond laser offers higher precision than manual incisions
» Reduced phaco time (or none at all)

Description
2013
SMILE

The SMILE procedure is a minimally invasive laser procedure using solely a femtosecond laser to correct myopia with or without astigmatism. The laser creates a refractive lenticule in the intact cornea as well as a small incision through which the lenticule is removed.

» Flap-less procedure, increased biostability of the cornea
» No excimer laser needed
» Limited indication (myopia, astigmatism)

Description
2017
SmartSurf PRK

SmartSurf PRK is an innovative surface ablation method that works without touching the eye. The procedure is especially suitable for patients with thin corneas when LASIK cannot be performed or is at its limit.

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