Many people in Singapore, who wish to correct their vision, are confused which surface ablation procedure to go for. Though LASIK eye surgery has been a well-known solution for correcting vision problems, surface ablation procedures (PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK) also offer the same results but with less invasive surgical method. Unlike LASIK, these procedures don’t require creation of corneal flaps, which reduces the risk of scarring, discomfort, and post-operative complications.
Before the existence of LASIK, Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) was the only known refractive surgical method that used an excimer laser to sculpt and correct a patient’s vision. Because of the benefits it provides that LASIK eye surgery cannot, this eye surgery is still widely performed by many surgeons throughout Singapore.
Unlike LASIK, PRK carefully vaporize corneal tissue by using an excimer laser. With this, the patient’s healthy corneal tissue is left intact and unharmed. Afterwards, a special contact lens that acts as a bandage is placed over the cornea to protect the eye and promote healing, which usually takes a week or two. Since PRK doesn’t make use of much corneal tissues, patients with thin cornea can correct their vision through this laser eye method.
The surgical procedure of Epi-LASIK by Tony Lasik in Singapore and PRK are almost identical. The only difference is that with Epi-LASIK, Singapore surgeons replace the separated epithelial cells after the cornea is corrected with a laser. With PRK, the loosened epithelial tissue is completely removed. The replacement of epithelial cells to the cornea is done to protect the new epithelial cells while it’s still healing.
The visual results and advantages of Epi-LASIK and PRK are also the same, including quicker recovery and lesser chances of flap complications. Some Singapore optometrists and ophthalmologists predict that Epi-LASIK will soon become popular in Singapore patients who must undergo PRK.
The Epi-LASIK and LASEK procedures also have a few similarities. Unlike LASIK, Epi-LASIK and LASEK don’t require cutting of corneal layer, which make these procedure less invasive. The main difference of the two eye laser techniques is the handling of the superficial corneal skin. In LASEK, the epithelial tissue is manually folded out of the way. With Epi-LASIK the flap is moved mechanically.
By folding the epithelial tissue to the side, the underlying eye collagen surface is exposed. With the use of an excimer laser, the cornea is reshaped from the surface and anything that hampers clear vision are removed and corrected. After the cornea is sculpted, the folded epithelial flap is then carefully repositioned to its original place.
Without cutting the corneal layer, like what LASIK does, normal shape of cornea and healthy corneal tissues are preserved. Furthermore, with these less invasive procedures, the normal sensation of the cornea is maintained and clear vision is immediately restored. Recent studies have shown that after a average of two to three months, patients of surface ablation procedures slightly better sight condition than patients of LASIK surgery. With PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK, Singapore patients who are not qualified for conventional LASIK surgery can now have the chance to correct their eyesight.