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What is refractive surgery?

A refractive error is a flaw in the shape of the cornea that causes images to be improperly focused on the retina. There are two main types of surgery used to correct this: Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) and Photo refractive keratectomy (PRK). These are laser eye surgery procedures intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses. The terminology for this kind of laser eye surgery is "laser vision correction for refractive error." The surgery essentially changes the curvature of the cornea so the eye can focus light more effectively. Images that were blurry without any kind of external corrective lens become clear.

In PRK, a laser is used to reshape the top layer of the cornea as necessary. The method behind LASIK differs by using two lasers: one laser is used create a flap while the second reshapes a lower layer of the cornea. Both procedures will yield the same end result, but the main advantages of LASIK eye surgery are:

  • Quicker visual rehabilitation
  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • The surgeon's ability to treat higher levels of refractive error without the limitations associated with PRK

Why it's done

Refractive eye surgery is done to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses due to conditions including:

  • Astigmatism
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Nearsightedness (myopia)

Our approach

The refractive specialists of the Department of Ophthalmology at Northwell Health and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH) are dedicated to providing the highest quality care using the latest technology. Our doctors performs “bladeless” LASIK eye surgery. All patients are screened during a free visit using the latest technology to ensure that proper surgical planning and treatment are customized for each person.

We use the IntraLASE laser in conjunction with the excimer laser and CustomVue LASIK technology to perform the procedure. This technology provides the following advantages over centers that are still using a blade:

  • Increased safety and precision. Because there is no variability in blade quality with the bladeless LASIK surgery procedure, there is little or no risk of the complications.
  • Less invasive. Our bladeless LASIK eye surgery is a much less invasive procedure than traditional LASIK. The laser passes don't apply friction to the front layer of the eye, which results in a much more comfortable procedure.
  • With the addition of the CustomVue technology, results are further enhanced by focusing on imperfections unique to each person’s vision that would otherwise go untreated. In fact, 98 percent of patients achieved 20/20 vision or better without the use of glasses or contacts.

Although it’s exciting to know you can have your vision improved after a 15-minute procedure, it’s important to learn as much as you can about LASIK before you choose this kind of surgery. Scheduling a consultation with our board certified surgeons will give you that opportunity.

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