Mercy Eye Center
Refractive surgery offers some patients with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism a surgical option to glasses or contact lenses. In order to qualify for refractive surgery a patient must have a comprehensive eye exam to ensure that his or her eyes are stable, healthy, and have a diagnosed problem that is likely to effectively respond to surgery. Mercy Eye Center surgeons are able to perform a number of refractive surgical procedures including:
- LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) – an outpatient procedure during which the surgeon uses a laser beam to permanently correct a patient’s condition of myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. The surgeon first numbs the eye with anesthetic drops and then uses an instrument called a keratome to create a thin flap in your cornea. The surgeon then moves the flap out of the way so that the laser beam can be directed at the exposed cornea. After the laser treatment the flap is replaced.
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) – an outpatient procedure during which a surgeon reshapes the cornea to improve the patient’s vision. First the surgeon applies anesthetic drops to numb the eye and the surface of the cornea (called the epithelium cells) are loosened (with a liquid solution) and then brushed away with a small rotating brush. Next the surgeon programs a computer which directs the laser equipment to send the right amount of laser pulses to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The process takes usually less than a minute and afterward the surgeon will apply anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops to the eye and place a soft contact lens which will act as a sort of “eyepatch” over the following 5-7 days to help the surface cells heal.
- Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) – CK is a virtually painless procedure that does not require an incision or laser and is performed in less than 5 minutes in our offices. Your surgeon will apply anesthetic eye drops to number your eye and then apply a washable dye to map out the new shape of your cornea. Your surgeon uses a small, pen-shaped instrument that uses radio-based frequency to heat and shrink the surface of your cornea and then reshape the cornea to correct your vision.