Surgery to treat myopia

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1. Overview

There are different types of surgery to treat myopia that can reshape the cornea to refocus light directly on the retina.

The goal of surgery is to allow people diagnosed with myopia see clearly without corrective lenses.

Most doctors believe that after surgery to treat myopia a person can enjoy a view of 20/40 or better. Those with vision of 20/40 or better can drive a car without corrective lenses.


1. Overview
2. Types of surgery to treat myopia
3. Surgical options
4. What is the motivation of those who choose surgery for myopia
5. Contraindications

2. Types of surgery to treat myopia

There are several types of laser surgeries; these include:

- LASIK is currently the most widely used surgical procedure for correction of myopia. LASIK has a high success rate and less chance of developing complications in case of moderate myopia.

It can also be used to correct severe myopia. Healing time is quite short, surgery is less painful and recovery is faster than with PRK technique.

- PRK, LASEK and epi-LASIK are similar operations. These are the types of corrective surgery, commonly used to correct myopia. Like LASIK, these operations have high rates of success and complications are rarely encountered, if we talk about moderate myopia. PRK, LASEK and epi-LASIK can be used instead of radial keratotomy (RK) to correct severe myopia.

- Radial keratotomy (RK) is used with great success for people who suffer from light and moderate myopia (less than three diopters). Although it is still used in some cases it has been replaced in most cases of LASIK and PRK.

- Corneal ring implants – This type of surgery is designed to treat mild myopia using a ring that reshapes the cornea.

- Lens implants (implantable contact lenses) can be used to correct moderate to severe myopia by flattening the cornea.

3. Surgical options

Surgery to treat myopia reshape the cornea to refocus light directly on the retina. There are three main types of laser surgery used to treat myopia:

- LASIK – which involves cutting a strip of cornea which remains stuck at one end, like a flap. A portion of tissue is removed strip will be reapplied.

- PRK, LASEK and epi-LASIK uses laser to reshape the cornea without the need for creation of a corneal flap.

- RK involves performing several incisions in the cornea to change its curve.

Other types of surgery for myopia involves surgical placement of implants to reshape the cornea or to replace or support the crystalline lens.

Of the three main types of surgery to correct refraction RK was used most of the time, but now LASIK and PRK are most commonly used. Studies suggest that surgery such as PRK laser and LASIK have the same precision as radial keratotomy (RK) and have a lower risk of complications and unpleasant side effects.

It will weigh the risks referred to surgery with the desire to have clear vision. The ophthalmologist can answer any questions regarding the possible outcomes, alternatives to surgery, risks and benefits in order to take the best decision. It is important to know that for some people it may be necessary, still, wearing glasses or contact lenses after surgery.

4. What is the motivation of those who choose surgery for myopia

Procedure is aimed at those who have good near vision but they suffer from myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and those who improved vision by wearing glasses or contact lenses but want to stop wearing them.

There are several reasons:

- Personal comfort – no longer need to wear glasses and there will be no constraints related to contact lens wear or maintenance or simply a desire to see better naturally without restriction (this is especially desirable for people suffering from presbyopia using progressive lenses).

- Motivations for aesthetic or psychological purposes – increased sense of comfort, improved aesthetics, youthful appearance.

- A person may have problems of intolerance or complications caused by wearing contact lenses and find it difficult to accept to wear glasses.

- The desire to see better to practice sports such as scuba-diving or in which the eyes are exposed to dust, or the contact lenses may be lost, etc. In addition to these come certain professions that require good vision without correction.

5. Contraindications

All people who suffer from myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and certain forms of presbyopia can benefit from this surgery.

People who suffer from myopia must be aged over 18 and be completed eye growth, myopia be stable without significant changes at least one year (not to be needed any re-intervention).

Old age is not an issue that will limit intervention. It should be noted that naturally myopia does not improve with age. There are certain conditions that do not permit surgery to treat refractive disorders, including autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative hemorrhagic thyroiditis), diseases of the cornea (keratoconus, dry severe keratitis, corneal herpes) or pathologies in retina, diabetes that is not balanced by treatment, retinopathy, deep amblyopia eye.

It is also absolutely necessary to check and treat visual skills especially for those who have various professions (military, police, navy, fire, air, road, etc).

Eye surgery preserves the anatomical features and possible pathological predispositions. They should be examined regularly, as if there had been surgery. Ocular pressure should be monitored regularly and any during any ophthalmological consult the person who suffered a surgery should specify that underwent surgery to correct refraction.



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