LASIK AND PRK AT ZAMBELLI CATARACT & LASER EYE INSTITUTE
Serving Patients in Rochester & Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Discover a World of Clear Vision Without Glasses or Contacts!
Are you tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to help you see clearly? Would you love to be able to drive without putting in your contact lenses first? Imagine waking up and seeing the alarm clock. Enjoy sports and other outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, golfing, playing tennis, riding a bike, and skiing without your corrective eyewear. The eye surgeons at Zambelli Cataract & Laser Eye Institute can help you experience the miracle of natural vision. We offer laser vision correction to permanently correct common vision problems — nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia — and give you clear sight without the need for visual aids.
Understanding Laser Vision Correction
Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are classified as refractive errors, or imperfections in the eye that prevent light from entering the eye and focusing properly on the retina. In the past, glasses and contact lenses were the only ways to correct these problems for clear vision.
However, laser vision correction procedures like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), which use light energy to modify the eye’s structures, have emerged as the treatment of choice for refractive errors. By reshaping the curvature of the eye’s outermost layer of tissue (called the cornea), LASIK and PRK make it possible for light rays to properly enter the eye and focus on the retina. After laser vision correction, contact lenses and glasses are no longer needed to see clearly.
PRK was the first laser vision correction procedure and LASIK’s predecessor. During a PRK procedure, the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is removed. Then, an excimer laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. In the days following the procedure, the epithelium heals on its own.
LASIK is similar to PRK with some key differences. Instead of removing the cells from the outer layer of the cornea, a thin flap is created on the cornea with the use of a laser. The flap is then folded back to expose the corneal tissue, and the underlying corneal tissue is then reshaped with the excimer laser. The Zambelli team performs bladeless LASIK, and creates the corneal flap with a painless femtosecond laser. They use the WaveLight Refractive Suite, which includes the Wavelight EX500 excimer laser and the Wavelight FS200 femtosecond laser. This state-of-the-art technology has special features to enhance the safety, customization and precision of the procedure and lower the rate of complications. Our surgeons also offer custom PRK, custom bladeless LASIK, wavefront-guided and topography-guided (Contoura Vision) LASIK treatments to address the eye’s unique and specific imperfections for optimal results and even better visual outcomes.
LASIK uses even more highly sophisticated technology than PRK, and is more commonly requested. However, PRK is still used and has an excellent success rate; it is often recommended to individuals with thin corneas that do not qualify for LASIK surgery.
Both LASIK and PRK are short, safe procedures. Patients usually recover vision within a few days of the operation. The LASIK recovery tends to be shorter, as the epithelium must grow back after PRK.
The Visian ICL: An Alternative to Laser Vision Correction
Another way that the eye surgeons at our practice can correct refractive errors and improve vision without altering the eye’s structures is to surgically implant an artificial lens in the eye. Implantable collamer lenses, like the Staar Visian ICL, refocus light rays for clearer, sharper vision while keeping the eye completely intact. Like LASIK and PRK, the ICL placement is a short procedure and visual results appear quickly.
Improve Reading Vision with a Corneal Inlay
Corneal inlays are tiny devices designed to improve near vision and reduce or eliminate dependence on reading glasses. They are best suited to individuals between the ages of 40 and 65 that have good distance vision without corrective lenses, but are unable to focus on small print or near objects without readers.
Like the Visian ICL, corneal inlays are surgically inserted into the eye; however, they are placed in the middle layer of the cornea, closer to the surface of the eye than an ICL. The procedure to place corneal inlays is generally very short and can be performed in an office setting. Corneal inlays are usually placed in the non-dominant eye.
The Kamra Corneal Inlay is about a quarter the size of a soft contact lens and less than one-tenth the thickness of a strand of hair. It is designed with an outer ring and a tiny central opening (imagine the shape of a doughnut). The opening is positioned directly in front of the eye’s pupil to create a pinhole camera effect. This allows only focused light to enter the eye, bringing near objects into sharp focus while maintaining clear distance vision.
The Raindrop Near Vision Inlay improves reading vision by reshaping the cornea. It is about the size of a pinhead, very thin and has optical characteristics that are very similar to a human cornea. When properly positioned in the eye, Raindrop changes the curvature of the cornea to correct vision.
Learn More about Your Vision Correction Options
For more information about LASIK, PRK, the Visian ICL or reading vision procedures, please contact Zambelli Cataract & Laser Eye Institute and request a consultation with our team. Call (724) 728-5000 or email us today to make your appointment.