Eye Surgery Evolution
Advanced technology has made it possible to reshape eyes and restore vision to healthy levels for many people from all walks of life. Surgical techniques and tools have rapidly evolved over the past two decades to create procedures that are both safe and helpful.
Corrective surgeries for eyes now include everything from using lasers to reshape the cornea surface (LASIK) and inserting artificial lenses to eyelid lifts and skin tag removal. Dr. Kekahuna screens for any conditions which may require surgery and refers to surgeons who specialize in the specific surgery needed.
Types of Eye Surgeries
Laser correction surgeries offer a snapshot of evolution in eye surgeries. The state of the cornea is a determining factor in these surgeries. Thinner corneas with a high degree of myopia, for example, usually require a more invasive surgery to reshape the eye surface enough to improve vision. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) became the first successful surgery to change the shape of the cornea through removing tissue. The FDA approved PRK in 1995 and it is still widely used today.
LASIK followed on the heels of PRK. It involves cutting a thin flap in the outer covering of the eye to reshape the cornea. Unlike PRK, it only takes a few hours to gain sharper vision with LASIK surgery. There is some risk of suffering dry eye and other complications such as halos around bright lights until the flap fully heals. Refractive surgery can correct near-sighted, far-sighted and astigmatism prescriptions.
Some eye surgeries require implanting new artificial lenses to produce vision improvements. Implantable lenses similar to contact lenses can correct more severe levels of nearsightedness. These artificial lenses go permanently over the natural lens on the eye. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) takes it a step further and replaces the natural lens with an artificial lens of a different shape. RLE can correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness.
Eye Surgery Considerations
Our eyes change as we age, so some corrective surgeries are not a good option for everyone. People under 18, for example, are not good candidates for laser eye surgeries because their eyes change rapidly as their bodies are growing. Overall health also factors into eye surgeries. If you have diabetes or other medical conditions that impact eyesight, certain eye surgeries may pose serious risks.
Dr. Kekahuna had LASIK herself, and has worked at several refractive surgery centers in the greater Austin area, giving her a unique knowledge and perspective. She enthusiastically recommends it to the right candidates. Please talk to Dr. Kekahuna about the refractive surgery options for your eyes.