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More Options For Eye Surgery

It seems Lasik Surgery is becoming more popular than ever. Nearly 2 million Americans per year are having surgery done on their eyes. The conditions that are affecting your eyes may include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness, and astigmatism, among others. For patients who were not good candidates for Lasik surgery, a new procedure is causing shockwaves, the permanent implantation of a lens, like a permanent contact lens, on top of the cornea.

The other major type of surgery particularly for older patients is cataracts surgery. Patients not only have their cataracts removed but have new lenses implanted on top of their corneas, causing them to see as well as they did 30 years before in many cases. Last year Medicare began to allow doctors to bill them directly for the newer more powerful lenses implanted with cataract surgery. Medicare pays for the lenses part of the surgery, but other portions of the surgery have to be paid out of the patients pocket. Risks from the surgery include a higher rate of retinal detachment.

Lasik is the surgery of choice now to correct vision problems. Its been on the market for about 10 years now. There are now two types of lasik on the market, according to how the cut in the cornea is made to use the lasers to ablate and change the shape of the eye. One way is called mechanical microkeratome lasik, using a mechanical blade, the other is called femtosecond lasik, where the cornea is cut using a laser. According to a Mayo Clinic study, after six months, the results for both of these methods are the same. Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist said in a statement At six months after surgery, there is no difference in the eyes that had bladeless lasik or microkeratome lasik with respect to visual acuity contrast sensitivity, or in perception of stray light or glare, such as glare from oncoming headlights. Dr. Patel did add that he slightly prefers bladeless lasik because of the increased safety factor, which was not measured in the study. He said that due to the fact that bladeless lasik uses computer controlled precision and its ability to visualize the cornea flap and stop the procedure if necessary, it would tend to be safer. The risks of complications with a micro-keratome blade are less than 1 percent. The long-term risks of either procedure are unknown, and defining them is the primary purpose of our study.