LASIK Alternatives

LASIK Alternatives: PRK & RLE

Even if you wear glasses or contacts and have a friend or family member with the same lens prescription who has had successful LASIK, you still may not be a good candidate for the procedure. Thin corneas and overall eye health may make you a better candidate for PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange). Here are some alternatives to LASIK eye surgery in Florence, SC.

Similarities and Differences Between PRK and LASIK

PRK uses the same excimer laser for reshaping corneal tissue to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The difference between PRK and LASIK is in the first step of the procedure.

Rather than creating a corneal flap as in LASIK, PRK involves the removal of the most superficial microns of surface layer corneal tissue. This allows access to the underlying tissue for corneal reshaping. Because there is no corneal flap to replace, the eye will need time to heal as the cornea regrows its surface cells.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

If you have severe farsightedness and/or presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) RLE may be a better option than LASIK or PRK.

In a Refractive Lens Exchange procedure the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). There are different IOLs to choose from; the best-fitting one will depend on your unique vision challenges and lifestyle. RLE with the right IOL can minimize or eliminate your need for reading glasses.

RLE Procedure & Recovery

The procedure is the same as cataract surgery and takes about 15 minutes per eye:

  • Only one eye is treated at a time
  • The procedure is done in our same day surgery center
  • An IV sedation and numbing eye drops help minimize discomfort
  • A small incision is made in the cornea to gently remove the natural lens
  • The pre-determined IOL is inserted

Recovery typically takes one week, but it may take longer to achieve your final, clear vision results.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn about Your Options

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