Understanding the Technology Behind Laser Eye Surgery

12 May 2016

Laser eye surgery is actually an umbrella term used to describe several types of surgical procedures; all of which are designed to correct refractive errors. The most common types of laser eye surgeries include LASIK, PRK, LASEK and EpiLASIK. Each of these procedures has their own specific technology and not all can be used to correct the same type of refractive error.

The Four Common Types of Laser Eye Surgery

You will need to meet with a laser eye surgeon to identify which type of procedure is right for you. The four most common types are:


Known as Laser in Situ Keratomileusis, this procedure is the most common laser eye surgery performed in the UK. It involves creating a thin flap in the cornea and the surgeon then uses a laser to cut the flap, reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error.

2. PRK

Photorefractive Keratectomy is the second most common type. It involves removing a portion of the surface of the cornea tissue and does not require a flap like LASIK because the tissue grows back.


Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis is similar to PRK and LASIK, but starts out with an application of alcohol to the corneal epithelium. This will loosen the corneal cells and lets the surgeon move them out of the way without actually removing them. After reshaping of the stroma is done using an excimer laser, the surgeon replaces the epithelial cells and puts in a contact lens.


Referred to as Epithelial Laser in Situ Keratomileusis, this procedure starts similar to LASIK, but the flap is much thinner and comprises only of epithelial tissues. Once the flap has been created, the surgeon reshapes the stroma with the excimer laser. The flap is then replaced and covered with a contact lens bandage to heal.

All four procedures use state-of-the-art laser technology. These lasers are so advanced and precise that the margin of error is almost non-existent. The treatment itself is painless and can be done in a single day.

If you are interested in laser eye surgery, contact Optilase. Our experts can assess your vision and find the right laser eye surgical procedure for you. To schedule a consultation, call us on 0489 043 8397 in Ireland and 0800 511 8005 in the UK. Have questions? Fill out our online enquiry form.

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