Types of LASIK Eye Surgery

Types of LASIK Eye SurgeryLASIK surgery can correct your vision problems if you suffer from nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism. While the standard LASIK surgery has helped thousands of people see more clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses, not everyone has the same standard issues. Therefore, your ophthalmologist or eye surgeon can use a variant of the procedure to help you.

These different forms of LASIK eye surgery follow a similar procedure, but they may use different or more cutting-edge technology. Talk to your eye surgeon before you commit to LASIK surgery to be absolutely sure you’re getting the best type of procedure for you and your eyes. For example, several of the more common alternative procedures include:

  • Custom LASIK
  • Topography-guided LASIK
  • Laser epithelial keratomileusis
  • Photorefractive keratectomy
  • Monovision surgery
  • Conductive keratoplasty
  • Implantable collamer lenses
  • Phakic intraocular lens

Custom LASIK

When LASIK surgery is customized, you have an excellent chance of optimal results. In this procedure, your eye surgeon tailors the computerized laser to suit your individual eyes so it more precisely changes your cornea to correct your vision. If 20/20 vision (or better) is your goal, ask your ophthalmologist about custom LASIK surgery.

Custom eye surgery with the LASIK technique makes use of wavefront technology, which identifies how your eye receives light through a computer analysis. This process allows your eye surgeon to fine-tune the correction to your cornea, resulting in clearer, sharper vision, compared to the standard LASIK treatment.

Additionally, with custom LASIK surgery, you’ve got a greater chance to achieve vision acuity better than you’d be able to achieve with lenses. You’re also less apt to experience the side effects of regular LASIK surgery, such as night vision problems, halos or glare. Once you’ve fully recovered, your vision may be better than you ever thought possible.

Topography-Guided LASIK

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this new LASIK technique uses Contoura™ Vision. A topography-guided technology, Contoura™ Vision maps the precise structure of your cornea. Knowing your vision problems, your eye surgeon can use the mapping information to target exactly where the laser needs to work to best improve your vision.

While not every LASIK patient needs this advanced technology, it provides your eye surgeon greater personalized care to better meet your individual needs. Topography-guided LASIK surgery promises the best results because each procedure is individualized for each eye. Results have consistently met or exceeded the vision correction you can expect from eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Laser Assisted In-Situ Epithelial Keratomileusis

If your cornea is too thin or oddly shaped to be considered for standard LASIK surgery, you may consider a laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) procedure. Sometimes called Epi-LASEK, it treats the same conditions as a LASIK procedure, but it can help correct your vision if you’ve been turned down for LASIK.

The difference between the two procedures is the use of a microkeratome, a medical instrument that your eye surgeon uses to create the protective corneal flap. If your cornea is too thin to use this tool, you can’t undergo a LASIK surgery. Instead, in the LASEK surgery, a solution is used to move the corneal tissue aside for the corrective laser treatment. Afterward, the tissue is put back into position to heal.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Another alternative to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, a photorefractive keratectomy (known as PRK) was much more common before LASIK. While LASIK surgery offers a quicker recovery, PRK can still be useful if you have been disqualified from LASIK due to cornea problems (including too thin), unusually large pupils or eyes that are too dry.

The primary difference is that your eye surgeon doesn’t create a corneal flap. Instead, the epithelium, which is the surface layer of your eye, is completely removed before the laser treatment to correct your cornea. It grows back, but it takes up to five days, which is obviously longer than the recovery from a LASIK surgery.

Monovision Surgery

This procedure may be a better choice if you’re older. Any LASIK procedure can’t stop your eyes from aging. As you get older, your eyes naturally tend to need help seeing objects closer, a condition called presbyopia. That’s why so many older people need reading glasses, even if their vision is otherwise fine.

Monovision LASIK surgery plans ahead by treating each of your eyes differently. One eye undergoes the standard treatment to correct it for distance. The other eye, however, is left nearsighted, so you may be able to read without glasses as you (and your eyes) age. In this way, you have a dominant eye for distance and another for close.

Conductive Keratoplasty

While monovision surgery corrects your vision to see both near (in one eye) and far (in the other), conductive keratoplasty (CK) specifically addresses your need to be able to read without glasses. While this eye surgery does nothing to address any distance-viewing problems you may have, it can reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals.

To perform a CK procedure, your eye surgeon uses a tiny probe that emits radiofrequency (RF) energy — sound waves. The probe is thinner than a human hair, and its size allows your doctor to focus it where it’s needed to reshape your cornea so you can see near things better. This procedure may be right for you if you’re over 40 years old and your vision is otherwise stable.

Phakic Intraocular Lens

Usually reserved for people over 40 years old, surgery to implant a phakic intraocular lens (P-IOL) into your eyes can solve your vision problems, especially if they’re too extreme for standard LASIK surgery to be effective. P-IOL can fix your nearsightedness, allowing you to read without glasses or contact lenses.

For this procedure, your eye surgeon replaces the natural lens in your eyes with a permanent artificial replacement that’s calibrated to address your vision problems. It’s not for everyone because it doesn’t address any corneal abnormalities, but it can deliver remarkable results for those older patients who have nearsightedness and farsightedness due to the lenses of their eyes.

Implantable Collamer Lenses

If your vision is poor enough that a normal LASIK surgery wouldn’t do you much good, implantable collamer lenses (ICL) may be an option. It’s a contact lens permanently implanted over your eye to correct your vision. The implanted lens adds focus to your existing natural lens, replacing your eyeglasses or temporary contact lenses.

To insert a lens into your eye, your ophthalmologist drops a local anesthetic into your eyes. After making an incision between your lens and iris, the eye surgeon inserts the ICL into place. While it’s considered a permanent vision correction, the artificial lens can be removed if complications or problems ensue.


Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult eye doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified eye doctor can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Types of LASIK Eye Surgery in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with the top rated Ophthalmologist in New York City, Optometrist Dr. Saba Khodadadian of Manhattan Eye Specialists, please contact our office for consultation with NYC eye doctor.

Manhattan Eye Specialists
Dr. Saba Khodadadian, Optometrist (NYC Eye Doctor)

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New York, NY 10028

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(212) 533-4821

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class Optometrist or Ophthalmologist in NYC regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination with an eye specialist should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your local eye doctor or call our office today and schedule a consultation.