Surgical Methods

Different types of refractive eye surgery

  • Radial Keratotomy (RK)
  • A surgical procedure where cuts are made in the cornea in a radial pattern to flatten the cornea and correct myopia. However, RK now is virtually obsolete as a corrective eye procedure

  • Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis - LASIK (Traditional LASIK)
  • A surgical procedure for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The procedure includes creating a thin corneal flap and then reshaping the stroma (the corneal layer beneath the epithelium - surface cells) with an excimer laser. For myopia correction, the stroma is made flatter. After treatment, the flap is replaced and left to heal.

3 main varieties of LASIK:

  1. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
  2. A refractive surgery recommended for candidates who are unsuited for LASIK due to corneas which are too thin or steep. While essentially similar to LASIK, no corneal flap is created in this surgery. Instead, corneal epithelium is removed entirely and these cells will regenerate in time.

  3. Laser Assisted Epithelium Keratomileusis (LASEK)
  4. A variation of LASIK surgery for candidates with cornea which are too flat or thin. Instead of creating a corneal flap using a microkeratome - sharp surgical tool with oscillating blade, it uses trephine - surgical instrument with serrated edge. Additionally, the corneal flap is free without a hinge for folding back. Therefore in this procedure, eyes have to be soaked in an alcohol solution to ensure that the cells hold together better when the flap is lifted off.

  5. Epi-lasik
  6. A refractive surgery recommended for candidates whose corneas are too flat, thin or steep, with dry eyes or large pupils. Unlike the previous surgical methods, the corneal flap is separated using an epikeratome - surgical tool with a blunt edge - before the laser is applied. Furthermore, alcohol solution is not involved as with LASEK.

  • IntraLASIK (All laser LASIK)
  • In IntraLASIK, the corneal flap is created by the IntraLase laser which passes through the corneal surface before treatment by the excimer laser used in LASIK. The surgery eliminates the risk of creating corneal flaps that are cut too deeply or unevenly.

  • Custom Wavefront LASIK Surgery
  • LASIK surgery which uses the computerized wavefront technology that creates precise 3D map of the eye. Thus, allowing the correction of higher order abberations such as glare, halos and starbursts.

  • Implantable contact lenses (ICLs)
  • Also known as phakic IOLs, ICLs are permanent implanted lens for candidates unsuited for LASIK. These lenses are placed behind the iris through a small cornea incision. The procedure is pain-free and has a high success rate. Furthermore, ICLs are able to treat extreme myopia.

  • Corneal ring implants
  • Clear acrylic pieces permanently implanted into the cornea to flatten it and reduce myopia.

For information about the following surgical methods, you can visit

Among the different types of refractive surgery, LASIK is the most common and popular surgery.


Image Location

The procedure of laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is almost painless and quick. The surgery alone takes less than five minutes, during which only the patient's eyes are sedated. Firstly, the eyes are anesthetized with special drops. Operating on one eye at a time, the surgeon will ensure that the patient's eye is linear to the laser above. An eyelid retainer used to prevent blinking is placed over the eye. After which, a thin layer of corneal flap is created by use of a microkeratome or laser. In order for the surgeon to cut the flap, pressure must be applied to the eye. This is done so with the suction ring within the retainer. Once the flap has been created, a computer-controlled laser reshapes the cornea according to prescription. If it is a bilateral simultaneous treatment, the surgeon will repeat the same procedure on the other eye after a short resting time.

Laser Eye Surgery Results

Lasik Result
Source:Eye Surgery Education Council

For information about the benefits and drawbacks, you can visit