What is laser refractive surgery?
The term laser means light amplified by stimulated emission of radiation, when this radiation is concentrated in a point the short laser. In ophthalmology we use a type of laser called an excimer that is an ultraviolet light with a strong energetic power. Through this laser we try to correct refractive errors , myopia , astigmatism and hyperopia and we are even taking advanced steps in the treatment of presbyopia. In short, the aim of refractive surgery is the suppression of corrective lenses and contact lenses .
Which patients can undergo laser refractive surgery?
There are a number of factors that prevent us from performing refractive surgery. In women, pregnancy and lactation. And, in general, psychiatric problems, retinal alterations, corneal pathologies, fundus diseases, evolutionary cataracts, progressive myopia and immunological diseases.
Two other very important factors are the age and intensity of the defect. Speaking of age we can say that we correct these defects from the age of 19, if there is a stabilization of the defect in the glasses of at least two years. After 40 years of age, we must warn that, even if the patient corrects the defect, in the immediate future he will have to use glasses for near vision.
Speaking of the intensity of the defects in myopia correct one to ten diopters correcting a little the corneal thickness, but I am more in favor of correcting up to eight because from eight there are other techniques for refractive errors such as intra-optic lenses. eyepieces that give better results and fewer side effects. In farsightedness we correct up to five diopters as well as astigmatism.
After refractive surgery, when can normal activities be resumed?
You have to remember that there are two different techniques for laser application. The laser that is applied directly to the cornea - the PRK or refractive photokeratectomy - gives a much greater postoperative discomfort although with an adequate analgesic regimen can be minimized, but whose recovery is also a little slower.
Then there is the laser when it is applied inside the cornea , in the corneal stroma, it is an operation that allows a visual recovery in a matter of hours and the post-operative discomforts are much less, simple sensation of foreign body or tearing that in four hours is solved. The patient can be reinstated the day after work.
What risks or contraindications can we find when it comes to practicing surgery?
It is a process full of advantages: it does not need hospitalization, anesthesia is topical and the results are very stable.
But there are risks inherent to any surgical intervention. Those referring to the technique are corrected by going to a surgeon with extensive experience and doing a good exploration. One of the side effects that we have to take into account is the dry eye due to tear deficit, as well as the vision of colored halos that occur when medium-high myopia is treated with a diffraction of light, just like an alteration in vision contrast (white-black) that can make driving a bit difficult.
The most important thing is that although it happens very rarely, sometimes we can fall short or pass, but this can be corrected after two months with a small touch-up.