The Procedure for removal of specs is collectively called refractive surgery. There are multiple options for Refractive surgeries available today. Each procedure has proven track records, research, and efficiency.
These procedures are mainly categorized into two categories:
- LASIK Surgeries, LASIK like laser vision correction like Advanced Surface Ablations
- Intraocular Lenses (IOL) – Phakic IOLs and clear lens exchange (CLE).
Formerly laser uses to reshape the cornea. Later lens implants came into refractive surgeries in which artificial lenses are placed inside the eye. When a lens is placed between the space of the iris and the natural crystalline lens called phakic IOL or when a space is created after removing the natural lens of the eye called clear lens extraction or refractive lens exchange.
These refractive procedures can achieve 20/20 vision and eliminate dependency on glasses or contact lenses. These procedures are safely and effectively fulfill the standard eye status and visual needs of individuals. Choosing the refractive surgery correctly is the first step to getting better vision without glasses. An ophthalmologist can suggest you the best procedure after a thorough comprehensive eye evaluation.
Each Procedure and Patient Selection
- Patients with high power are not considered eligible for LASIK: The patients have dioptres above six to eight depending on corneal thickness, thin corneas, previous corneal scars or surgeries, corneal grafts, keratoconus etc.
- Very high levels of myopia (up to 20 dioptres) can easily be corrected via Intraocular lenses with few patient restrictions. (Phakic IOLs are not recommended for less than three dioptres)
- Cataract is an absolute contraindication for LASIK and phakic IOLs. Patients with early cataractous changes can opt Refractive lens exchange procedure. This surgery, RLE, is called cataract surgery with IOL implantation. It is performed in a patient with a visually significant cataract.
Details of Both the Procedures
- In LASIK, the surgeon operates on the surface of the eye that’s why it is called an extraocular procedure and also less invasive. LASIK involves the permanent removal of some corneal tissue that makes the procedure irreversible. The Procedure is significantly faster than a lens implant. In Lasik, both eyes can be operated simultaneously.
- The lens implant is an intraocular process. It is more invasive as the surgeon works on the inside of the eye. Phakic IOLs are completely reversible because it does not involve the removal of the natural lens of the eye, while CLE is not because the natural lens of the eye is removed. To reduce the risk of intraocular infection most surgeons prefer to operate each eye on separate days.
- Lens implants also provide additional protection from ultraviolet radiation. UV radiation is responsible for the formation of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Duration of Procedures and Surgical Downtime
Both the surgeries require only daycare. After completing the surgery hospital required some paperwork. LASIK on both eyes can be done simultaneously, while surgeons prefer to plan lens implants on different days.
- The laser treatment takes less than a minute for each eye. Total procedure lasts about 15 minutes per eye.
- Lens implants take about 20-30 minutes per eye. The surgeon suggests the surgeries for the two eyes should be performed about a week apart.
- The time for vision recovery and follow-up visits for both groups of surgeries is almost the same.
Is Reading Glass required after LASIK Or Lens Implants?
Refractive procedures cannot address this need, In case you already need reading glasses:
- In case of LASIK, monovision is possible.
- Phakic IOLs or ICL ( Implantable Collamer Lenses) could not correct near vision. CLE (Clear lens extraction) and RLE ( refractive lens exchange) with multifocal lenses can correct near and distant vision both.
- If patients don’t have presbyopia before the procedure, they will still be able to read without glasses.
LASIK VS Lens Implants Procedure Cost:
Lens implant procedure is more invasive and takes longer to perform that’s why it is more expensive than LASIK. Also, the additional cost of the lens makes the procedure expensive. Lasik Variants can also cost differently like advanced procedures femtosecond LASIK and Relex SMILE can cost more as compared to traditional LASIK.
LASIK Surgery is the best choice for patients with low to moderate refractive error and no associated eye diseases. While REL (Refractive lens exchange) or lens implants can correct almost any degree of refractive error. It is also observed that the quality of vision after lens implants is better than that after LASIK.
An ophthalmologist suggests the RLE if the patient is not suitable for any other vision correction surgeries like LASIK since it is an invasive procedure, and is more expensive. For patients with early cataract, RLE is the best option.
Phakic IOLs are the best choice for patients of stable keratoconus and for patients post corneal surgeries.