Refractive Surgery

Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery is a general term that describes various methods to surgically correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.  Spectacles and contact lenses (soft or rigid gas permeable) may be used to correct these common refractive issues.  If spectacles and contact lenses cannot be worn or are not desired to be worn, then surgical correction may be a good solution.  Refractive surgery options include laser vision correction (LVC), phakic intraocular lenses (PIOL), and refractive lens exchange (ReLEx).

Laser Vision Correction (LVC)

Laser vision correction describes procedures that changes the shape of the cornea to bring light into focus onto the retina.  Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) and photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) or advanced surface laser ablation (ASLA) are two options to reshape the cornea.  LASIK is a technique that involves creating a flap with a femtosecond laser, lifting the flap, reshaping the underlying corneal stroma with an excimer laser, and then replacing the flap to its original position.  PRK or ASLA involves removing the corneal epithelium and using an excimer laser to change the shape of the underlying cornea.  A bandage contact lens is then placed on the surface of the eye to allow the epithelium to heal. 

Phakic Intraocular Lenses (PIOL)

Phakic intraocular lenses are lenses that can be placed within the eye, either in front of the natural lens behind the iris or in front of the iris.  This is an intraocular procedure similar to a cataract operation, except the natural lens is left in place. 

Refractive Lense Exchange (ReLEx)

Refractive lens exchange is a procedure similar to a cataract operation, including the removal of the natural lens.  The only difference is the indication for the procedure.  Cataract surgery is done to remove a cloudy lens and replace it with a clear intraocular lens (IOL).  ReLEx is done for refractive purposes, placing an IOL that corrects the refractive error of the eye. 

Dr MacIntyre performs LVC, PIOLs, and ReLEx.  Please see the individual sections of the website for more details.