Lasers are a wonderful tool in the treatment of many ocular conditions, and they often offer simple solutions to serious problems. Laser procedures offer several advantages over conventional procedures in that they are painless and incredibly precise. The common laser procedures we use in routine practice are explained in the following link.
Laser Vision Correction is the surgical correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The two primary procedures are PRK and LASIK, both of which are very safe and effective at reducing your need to wear prescription eye wear. There are minor differences in which procedure will be most appropriate for you, and these will be discussed with you before scheduling your surgery.
photorefractive keratectomy (prk)
PRK is performed by first gently scraping a circular area from the front surface of the eye. Dr. Massengale will then direct the pre-programmed laser, using a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light to reshape the surface of your cornea, reducing and possibly eliminating nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The laser time, on average, last between 30 and 60 seconds.
The main advantage of PRK over LASIK is that there is no "flap" created as in the LASIK procedure. The healing time is a bit longer, but there is no risk of problems with the tissue flap.
One may experience some mild discomfort and watering of the eyes after treatment. This varies from person to person but has been likened to the sensation of having worn contact lenses for too long. The risks associated with PRK and LASIK also include a small but real risk of an infection. A bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for the first several days, to aid in comfort.
LASIK is performed in all ways the same as in PRK, except for the creation of an ultrathin flap on the front of the eye with a precise automated instrument. The flap is gently lifted and the preprogrammed laser then reshapes the inner cornea to refocus the eye. The flap is repositioned and holds itself in place, healing naturally without the need for any stitches. In all, LASIK takes about 20 minutes to do both eyes.
The most common complication of cataract surgery is a clouding of the clear membrane behind the intra-ocular lens which was implanted during surgery. This is very common and usually develops in the first year after surgery. When this cloudiness affects your vision, Dr. Massengale will use the Nd:YAG laser to clear the cloudy membrane. The procedure is painless and results in an almost immediate improvement in vision.
SLT (Selective laser trabeculoplasty)
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a simple, yet effective procedure, which is part of the armamentarium of managing open angle glaucoma. It is a painless procedure performed to help reduce the intraocular pressure in an effort to stop worsening damage to the optic nerve in glaucoma.
LPI (Laser peripheral iridotomy)
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is the preferred procedure for managing a different type of glaucoma, called narrow angle (or angle closure) glaucoma. With this procedure, Dr. Massengale creates a small opening in the colored portion of the eye (iris) to help redirect fluid to the exit drainage area of the eye, helping to reduce intraocular pressure and prevent closure of the anterior chamber angle. It also is a painless procedure.