LASIK Alternatives - PRK, CLE Click on any topic or scroll down.
Non-surgical Lens implantsLaser-related refractive surgeries Other refractive surgeries
Eyeglasses are certainly safe, relatively inexpensive and most
people can tolerate them well. Sometimes, depending on the nature of
the correction, the lenses may be thick and compromising to the size
of the visual image. Complications associated with the use of glasses
are rare, unless they become misplaced or restrict certain activities.
Contact lenses are a popular non-surgical alternative. Contact
lenses come in a variety of materials and colors. Comfort, effectiveness,
and ease of use vary with each individual. Since contact lenses rest
directly on the cornea, not everyone is able to tolerate them well,
and they may restrict certain activities. Well-fitted and used properly,
contact lenses are effective and relatively safe. Complications arising
from the use of contact lenses include allergic reactions, infections,
scratches, ulcers, or other injuries to the cornea.
Clear lens extraction (CLE)
Clear lens extraction is a procedure in which the eye's natural
internal lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant,
sometimes referred to as an "IOL". In the past five years,
it has become an acceptable alternative to other refractive procedures.
Phakic Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
The Phakic intraocular lens is placed inside the eye without
removing the natural lens, and performs much like an internal contact
lens. There are some very exciting and promising phakic IOLs that are
currently under study for FDA validation. Read more...
A type of Clear Lens Extraction, Prelex is a surgical procedure
that attempts to correct presbyopia. It is a technology that has not
gained complete acceptance by the medical community nor proven satisfactory
with a number of patients. Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer Prelex.
However, some new implants that are currently under investigation may
make this a viable procedure, and Dr. Seibel will advise his patients
when these new options will be available.
Intacs are surgically implanted plastic half rings that change
the shape of the cornea. A significant number of these devices were
removed for complications during the FDA Phase III clinical trials.
Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer Intacs.
PRK eye surgery is used in a number of cases instead of LASIK.
It is primarily for those with dry eyes or for those whose cornea may
be too thin to allow for the creation of the corneal flap required
for LASIK eye surgery. During PRK eye surgery a small area on the corneal
epithelium (surface cells) is gently polished away. The laser then
reshapes the corneal surface in exactly the same way as for LASIK surgery.
In LASEK, the epithelium, or outer layer of the cornea, is cut
with a fine blade called a trephine, which involves displacing the
corneal epithelium as a sheet and then replacing it to act as a natural
bandage. However, the epithelium is often not healthy afterwards and
must regenerate over a very extended time period; a contact lens is
usually required. Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer LASEK.
Laser Thermokeratoplasty (LTK)
LTK used a holmium 'heat' beam laser instead of the 'cool' beam
excimer laser to treat farsighted patients and is very limited in its
application; the effects are not long lasting. Seibel Vision Surgery
does not offer LTK.
Radial Keratotomy (RK)
RK was the first refractive procedure practiced in the U.S. on
a wide scale. It was first introduced in the U.S. in 1978. Radial Keratotomy
is seldom performed today because the excimer laser can achieve the
same effect without placing deep radial incisions of RK, which effectively
lead to a weakening of the structure of the cornea and frequently unstable
results. Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer RK.
Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)
AK treats astigmatism by flattening the cornea with arc-shaped
incisions in its periphery. It is similar in principal to RK with the
same disadvantages. Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer AK.
Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty
Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty is a procedure that existed before
LASIK eye surgery, and is now outdated. Seibel Vision Surgery does
not offer ALK.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
CK is a procedure in which a radio frequency probe rather than
a laser is used to reshape the cornea. It is approved for low to moderate
hyperopia in patients over age 40, however it does not appear to have
the precision of LASIK and, in its initial studies, it actually caused
new astigmatism in some patients. Seibel Vision Surgery does not offer