Types of Ophthalmic Surgery
In recent years, there have been incredible advancements in vision correction surgeries. From surgical procedures that people see well without glasses or contact lenses to operations that can remove cataracts, there are many types of eye surgeries that are helping people see better.
Let’s look at different types of corrective eye surgeries…
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Refractive Lens Exchange
- Intraocular Lens Implant
It is one of the most common eye surgeries performed to reduce the patient’s dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. It is done to treat common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. The eye surgery involves reshaping the underlying corneal tissue to focus light into the eye and reach the retina. An outpatient surgery, LASIK is performed under local anaesthesia and the procedure is painless.
After the surgery, some people may still need spectacles as they get older. Those who had a strong prescription may also need spectacles even after the surgery. In order to be a good candidate for LASIK, you need to have a thick cornea and stable eyeglass prescription. LASIK is not recommended for pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.
The aim of both LASIK and PRK is the same — to treat refractive errors so that you won’t need contact lenses or glasses. In some cases, PRK is preferred over LASIK when certain patients do not have thick corneas as required for LASIK. After the PRK surgery, your eyes may hurt. However, the pain goes away eventually. It is recommended that you should not drive for a few weeks after the surgery.
Cataract surgery is the best treatment for cataracts. The eye surgery is done using advanced technology like a laser. An eye surgeon removes the clouded lens with an artificial lens. An outpatient surgery, the procedure is completed in 15 to 20 minutes. However, pre and post-operative procedures can take more than an hour. Cataract surgery is one of the most common eye surgeries with a high success rate.
When left untreated for long, glaucoma can lead to complete loss of vision. There are different types of surgeries available to treat glaucoma. The goal of both then surgeries is to lower the eye pressure. Though glaucoma cannot be cured, with appropriate treatment it can be controlled. Glaucoma surgery is done using a laser as well as conventional methods.
The procedure done using a laser is minimally invasive and the patient can go home the same after the surgery. After the surgery, the eyes may look red or may water. If you either are above the age of 40 or you have a family history of glaucoma, then you get your eyes tested for the condition.
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes-related eye complication. If you have high blood sugar levels, they can damage blood vessels causing them to leak fluid and blood into the retina. This could cause blurry vision. Surgery is done to prevent future blood vessel leaks.
This procedure involves the same steps as cataract surgery. The difference is that these patients do not have cataracts, but rather, their natural lenses are still clear.
Your natural lens is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens implant (IOL) that corrects your vision. There are many types of lens implants available, depending on your prescription and visual needs.
RLE may be suitable for:
- People with thin corneas who may not be eligible for laser refractive surgery
- People with higher prescriptions, especially moderate to high hyperopia or astigmatism
Another benefit is that you do not have to worry about developing a cataract when you are older.
Unlike a refractive lens exchange, phakic IOLs leave your natural lens in place. This surgery is an excellent option for people with high myopia who aren’t candidates for laser refractive surgery.
A benefit of this procedure is that the phakic IOL may be removed later if needed. For example, if you receive a phakic IOL but develop cataracts, the surgeon can remove the phakic IOL before performing cataract surgery.
There are two main types of phakic IOLs:
- Anterior chamber phakic IOL is inserted into the eye between the cornea and iris
- Posterior chamber phakic IOL is inserted behind the iris, in front of your natural lens
During strabismus surgery, ophthalmologists manipulate muscles around the eye. They may loosen, tighten, or reposition them to improve the alignment of the eyes and vision.
The more extensive it is, the longer the healing period. It may take adults up to seven days to begin feeling comfortable. The eyelids may also be swollen and make it challenging to open the eye shortly after surgery.