Discover Refractive Surgery, Beyond LASIK

Refractive Surgery, Beyond LASIK

It’s truly a great time to be a refractive surgeon, and a perfect time to consider surgical and laser vision correction options, with so many great options and new technologies that have become available to patients in just the last five years alone.

Let’s quickly review where we’ve come from in refractive surgery, and where these new technologies are now leading us.

First for about 20 years now, we have been able to do laser eye surgery on the eye’s surface with a procedure called PRK (photo refractive keratectomy) and over the years, the techniques and post operative medicine regimens have improved to make this a terrific option for those who don’t wish to have a cornea flap made, and who don’t mind a longer healing time, as PRK requires at least 3 to 4 days recover, and this is best done while off work at home.  LASIK is a variant of PRK, where the original surface cells are left on the cornea after the laser surgery, however, it generally takes far longer for patients to achieve clear vision than with PRK, so it is not readily performed by most surgeons.

LASIK, where a cornea flap is made with the use of a microkeretome (small oscillating metal blade) became extremely popular over the last 18 years or so due to its far faster recovery of excellent vision when compared to PRK, literally overnight for many.

However, the introduction of femtosecond lasers, such as the Intralase, have allowed for much thinner, more precise corneal flaps to be created, and this has helped patients achieve excellent visual outcomes even faster than its predecessor LASIK, and with generally quicker recovery from symptoms of temporary dry eyes.

Implantable Contact Lenses such as the Visian ICL by Staar surgical came next and have made it possible for many patients who were never candidates for conventional corneal laser procedures, to enjoy the miracle of refractive eye surgery and gain independence from their day to day struggles with cumbersome glasses and problematic contact lenses.

Now we are entering an entirely new exciting space for presbyopic patients: the age of the corneal inlay!  Until just this year, the only FDA approved way to address presbyopia was monovision, where one eye was targeted for distance vision and one for up close ( by the way Presbyopia is defined as problems with focusing at near associated with aging and loss of normal lens movement or accommodation). While fine for some, many patients cannot tolerate the disparity created between the two eyes in order to retain both distance and near vision. 

The Kamra corneal inlay, just approved last year, makes it possible to achieve excellent depth of focus, and near vision, while maintaining one’s distance vision.  This technology has yet again allowed surgeons to provide a personalized vision plan that will suit far more patients as they age. 

The inlay, like the Visian ICL, is also a reversible procedure, providing the peace of mind that in the rare case someone doesn’t prefer their new vision experience with the Kamra, they can have it removed.  Of the 20 or so one colleague of mine has placed, only one has been removed and that patient now wants it replaced. One of my best friend’s wife now has one and loves it, and a surgeon colleague I know also has one so I can tell you this technology will continue to gain momentum and many more presbyopic patients will find their way to Kamra as awareness of its existence increases.

Diamond Vision is proud, yet again, to be at the forefront of this technology wave. We have just installed our new $75,000 Acutarget HD diagnostic device,  which will allow us to determine the best candidates for the Kamra inlay and also help with analyzing the all-important ocular surface of patients considering such refractive surgery options.

It’s always a great time to consider ways to improve the quality of your life, and now there could not be a better time to look at laser vision correction (PRK, LASIK, Intralase) and surgical vision correction procedures such as Visian ICL, premium multifocal IOLs, and the Kamra inlay for presbyopia. If you’re in Georgia visit our Atlanta LASIK Surgery Center for more information.

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