Laser Refractive Surgery
Refractive errors can often be corrected by various types of laser refractive surgery. The most common types are:
– LASIK: A femtosecond laser is used to create a flap in the cornea, and an excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. This procedure requires very little downtime, and generally a quick recovery.
– Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): The top layer (epithelium) of the cornea is removed and an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors.
Other Laser Procedures
Laser Capsulotomy is a procedure that is sometimes needed after cataract surgery. Cataract surgery removes cataracts and allows for the insertion of an artificial lens to replace the natural lens. The new artificial lens sits within the existing ‘capsule’ of the cataract that was removed. Sometimes, the capsule may become cloudy and cause blurred vision (this may occur weeks or months after cataract surgery). If a cloudy or wrinkled capsule is found during your visit with an ophthalmologist, laser capsulotomy may be recommended. This procedure can be done in our office, and only takes a few minutes.
Laser Iridotomy: Angle-closure glaucoma, also known as narrow-angle glaucoma, is caused by blocked drainage canals in the eye, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. This is a rare form of glaucoma, which develops very quickly and demands immediate medical attention. Individuals at risk of this condition are usually older in age, farsighted, and of Asian descent. Individuals with a family history of angle-closure glaucoma are also at risk. For individuals who we think are at a high risk, we recommend a laser procedure called a ‘ laser iridotomy’ to hopefully prevent future attacks of angle closure glaucoma. The iridotomy works by providing fluid an alternative drainage pathway, to prevent it from getting ‘trapped’ and causing the eye pressure to rise. This procedure can be done in the office. It takes around 2-5 minutes per eye.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: Glaucoma is the disease of the optic nerve. In general, treatment involves trying to lower the pressure inside the eye. There are a number of ways to do this including using eye drops, laser procedures, or surgery. Some patients will opt to use eye drops, while others will opt to start with the laser procedure. In an SLT procedure, focused light energy is directed at the drainage angle of the eye to try and promote more efficient fluid drainage. This procedure is effective in approximately 80% of patients to lower the intra-ocular pressure.
Ask Dr. Nathoo for the right answers.