Most patients with common refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism may enjoy the benefits of refractive surgeries such as LASIK, LASEK, and PRK. In general, people in their 20s, 30s or early 40s, with healthy eyes, adequate cornea thickness and which haven’t had any significant changes in their lens prescription during the past year, can be considered good candidates for these procedures.
Once an ophthalmologist has chosen you as a good candidate for surgery, you will be informed of the methods available and their specific details. There are several laser and non-laser methods available for correcting refractive errors. The laser methods are: LASIK, LASEK and PRK, while those non-laser include intraocular lenses, intracorneal rings, and conductive keratoplasty. These are used when patients are not good candidates for laser surgery
Custom LASIK (Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis)
This is a personalized laser system that designs the details of each patient´s surgery according to their unique characteristics in order to correct refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism). The custom lasik system provides additional precision during surgery due to its wavefront technology. This technology measures the way light travels in the patient’s eye, and then compares it to the way it would travel in an eye with perfect vision. This allows it to design a specific tridimensional map that allows the surgeon to correct each refractive error in a very precise way. The surgery combines delicate surgical techniques with an excimer laser treatment.
After anesthesia drops are applied to each eye, so the patient feels no pain during the procedure, an instrument called a microkeratome is used to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. The surgeon then folds the flap back out of the way and removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser which is guided by the specifications calculated in the wavefront system. The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove ("ablate") very tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it. When the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed. The flap acts as a natural bandage and makes the healing process quick and painless.
Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from the LASIK procedure. With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea, while with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. In a stigmatism the irregular cornea is smoothed into a more normal shape. LASEK (Epithelia Keratomileusis)
Lasek is the same as Lasik (applying laser to reshape de cornea) but with a difference in the thickness of the flap created (only one third of the thickness used in Lasik). To help protect the wound, a contact lens is placed on the cornea to minimize risk infections and help the healing process. The Lasek procedure is the choice for patients that have thin corneas or certain conditions that would make them not very good candidates for Lasik
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
The PRK procedure is very similar to Lasik, but with the main difference being that the laser is applied directly over the cornea (only the epithelium is removed) instead of creating a flap and applying the laser underneath it. This makes it a great option for patients with very thin corneas. Another advantage is that since it does not involve an incision, the cornea’s structure is less altered, so it is less likely to develop complications in the long run. As same as in Lasek, after surgery a contact lens is placed on the cornea to minimize risk infections and help the healing process. The downside of this procedure is that, since it does not have the flap to act as a natural “bandage”, the healing process can be more painful and the visual recovery slower than with Lasek or Lasik.. Risks of laser refractive surgeries
Due to state of the art technology and the use of safe and highly reliable tools there is almost no possibility of loss of vision due to these surgeries. The flap is made by a special device called microkeratome and the laser has an eye movement sensor that automatically stops if it moves beyond the established limits.
- Not getting a perfect 20/20 vision at the end. Sometimes (depending on the original lens prescription, cornea’s thickness, etc) it is impossible to achieve a perfect vision with surgery. In most cases, the residual graduation can be corrected with a touch-up surgery.
-Dry eyes. This can be solved with artificial tear eye-drops.
A Refractive Surgery from the Patients Point of View
Once in the surgical facility, a nurse will clean your eye area, apply anesthesia and antibiotic drops to your eyes and will give you a disposable hair net and booties to place over your shoes. You’ll then be taken to the surgery room and you will lay on a bed with your face under a microscope, looking at a flashing red light. The doctor will use a small tool to separate your eyelids and immobilize your eye. Then a special marker will be used to draw a dot on the cornea where the flap will be done and a metallic ring will be placed over your eye to create the flap. You will experience some seconds of total darkness and feel some pressure at this point, but no pain at all. After you see light again, the doctor will ask you to stare directly at the flashing red light until the laser application has been completed. The laser has an eye-movement sensor that follows the eye and stops automatically in case the eye moves too much. When the laser is done, the doctor will place the flap in its original position, remove the eyelid separator and apply antibiotic drops. Then the same procedure will be done all over again on the second eye.
Finally, a nurse will place protective goggles over your eyes (you will not take them off until the next day and then will use them only at night, during one month, to avoid any possible rubbing while you’re asleep) and will give you other instructions. Thirty minutes later, the anesthesia effect will stop and you will feel a tingling sensation on your eyes for the next two hours. It is very important not to rub your eyes at all. Recovery times depend on each person, although most patients achieve 90% of the recovery during the first 24 hours, allowing them to go back to their normal activities by the second day.
Sunglasses and lubricant eye drops are highly recommended from then on and bear in mind that the following guidelines are extremely important to follow:
-No squeezing or rubbing your eyes (1 week) -Avoid getting water in your eyes while showering (1 week) -No swimming (1 month) -Avoid getting sweat on your eyes while exercising (1 week) -Avoid closed areas with smoke (1 week) -No eye makeup: mascara, eye shadow, eye liner, etc (2 weeks).
Affordable refractive eye surgery, including LASEK, LASIK and PRK are performed by US trained doctors in internationally accredited institutions at very attractive prices very close to home.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye, also adjusting the eye's focus and therefore letting us see things clearly both closely and far away. The lens is mostly made of water and protein, which is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it. As we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens forming a cataract. Over time, this may grow larger and cloud even more of the lens, making it harder to see. A cataract starts out small, and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision has blurred a little and that light may seem too bright or glaring. Additionally, colors may not appear as bright as they once did. In general, blurry vision without pain, sensitivity to light, frequent changes in your lens prescription, poor night vision, or yellowish-pale colors are symptoms of a cataract.
The most common cause is the natural aging process of the eye. About half of the population has a cataract by age 65, and nearly everyone over 75 has at least one. Other causes include diabetes, past wounds, and over-exposure to sun light or UV rays. There are also some rare cases in which infants can have congenital cataracts. Cataracts are not easily perceived by other people and only a meticulous eye exam done by an ophthalmologist can determine whether your vision problem is caused by a cataract and if surgery is required. Surgery is the only way to completely eliminate the cataract, although if symptoms are light, a simple adjustment in the lens prescription could improve a patient’s vision.
This surgery should be considered whenever a patient can no longer perform normal activities due to poor vision. This surgery is about extracting the cataract using a microincisional procedure and replacing it with an intraocular lens, using phacoemulsification (ultrasonic cataract removal) technology. It usually causes only minimal discomfort during and after surgery, a fast recovery of good sight, and a minimal risk of induced astigmatism. The surgery is quick, painless and does not require sutures nor hospitalization. It is very important to mention that cataract surgery is done one eye at a time with at least one month between procedures. Results are usually very good as nearly 94% of patients are so satisfied they would have the procedure again, 80% of patients do not need eyeglasses anymore for near and distance vision, and 85% of patients were able to see without glasses 20/25 in distance and J2 at near (smaller than newsprint) in their following check-ups.
Affordable cataract surgery performed by US trained doctors in internationally accredited institutions at very attractive prices very close to home. With great prices like: Phaco Surgery for $1,995; Phaco-Refractive Surgery for $2,295; and Phaco-Refractive Surgery using a Restor Lens for $2,695, discover the benefits of medical travel and contact Travel For Care for an inexpensive quote.
Is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes mellitus that can eventually lead to blindness. It usually affects patients who have had diabetes for more than ten years and the symptoms almost always include blurry vision. It can be treated very effectively in a variety of ways: laser photocoagulation of the hemorrhages, a vitrectomy, or a replacement of the vitreous with saline solution, an injection of Avastin, and others.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
This condition begins when yellow deposits called “drusen” start forming in the macula, or central area of the retina. Early stage patients still have good vision, but since this area provides our central vision, advanced AMD may bring profound vision loss, although never total blindness. Advanced AMD has two varieties, dry and wet.
Central geographic atrophy, the “dry” form of advanced AMD, results from atrophy to the retinal pigment epithelial layer below the retina, which causes vision loss through loss of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the central part of the eye. While no treatment is available for this condition, vitamin supplements with high doses of antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin are typically suggested to slow its progression.
Neovascular AMD, the “wet” form of advanced AMD, causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth in the choriocapillaries, ultimately leading to blood and protein leakage below the macula. Bleeding, leaking, and scarring from these blood vessels eventually cause irreversible damage to the photoreceptors and rapid vision loss if left untreated. Until recently, no effective treatments were known for wet macular degeneration. However, new drugs, called anti-angiogenics can cause regression of the abnormal blood vessels and improvement of vision when injected directly into the vitreous humor of the eye. Avastin is one of the most common drugs for this purpose and is the preferred option of the ophthalmologists in our network.
It is a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This results in significant visual impairment and affects our daily tasks like driving, watching TV, or reading a book. In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. These symptoms usually first appear in the late teens and early twenties and each eye may be affected differently. Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism caused in the early stages of keratoconus. However, as the disorder progresses and the cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable contact lenses are generally prescribed.
Intracorneal rings are a relatively new treatment option. They are plastic rings inserted into the mid layer of the cornea to flatten it, changing the shape and location of the cone. This can improve uncorrected vision to some degree, but depending on the severity of the KC patients may still require contact lenses with an easier fit, for functional vision. The intracorneal rings procedure lasts about fifteen minutes, is painless, and does not require hospitalization. Recovery is also fast, as by the third day the patient is usually able to go back to its normal activities. Besides a minimal risk of infection, it is considered one of the safest eye procedures and it is totally reversible.
This procedure involves removing the damaged tissue and replacing it with a healthy cornea. The entire operation is done under a surgical microscope. After taking measurements of the amount of tissue to be removed, the cornea is cut and lifted away from the eye with a special round tool that works much like a cookie cutter called a trephine. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the healthy cornea is cut to a matching size and placed on the patient's eye. It is held in place with very fine stitches using suture material that is about as thin as a hair.The surgery is painless due to local anesthetic, or to general anesthesia given to some patients.
The recovery period for corneal transplants is rather long as the stitches will remain in the eye for six to twelve months after the surgery. Eye drops will have to be used while the stitches are in place to assure proper healing. An extremely important part of the recovery period is constant vigilance as to signs of rejection. Even though corneas are the least rejected tissue, rejection occurs in a sizeble amount of transplants.
Vision will return slowly after the operation, with final improvements seen as far out as a year after it was performed. Often lenses are necessary to correct astigmatism (irregular curvature) of the transplanted tissue, but these problems are minor compared to the vision issues present with the damaged cornea. The final result statistics are highly dependent on the cause of the damage to the original cornea, with rates around 90-95% success treating corneal diseases such as keratonconus.
Affordable eye surgery performed by US trained doctors in internationally accredited institutions at very attractive prices very close to home. Discover the benefits of medical travel and contact Travel For Care for an inexpensive quote.