Getting to Know the Most Common Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Eye surgery.

If you’re tired of relying on glasses and contacts to see, laser eye surgery could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Thanks to major advances in eye surgery in recent years, procedures are exceedingly safe and effective. Millions of people have chosen laser eye surgery to correct their vision problems. There are several different types of laser eye surgery, and while only your ophthalmologist can help you determine which type is right for you, this overview can help you weigh your options.


LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. This refractive eye surgery can correct many common vision issues, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK relies on a laser to reshape the cornea so that light is focused properly. A small cut in the outer cornea is made to give the eye surgeon access to the treatment area. Recovery is fast and the results are long-lasting.


Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, addresses minor cases of the same vision problems that LASIK treats. Like LASIK, PRK relies on a laser to reshape the cornea and improve the way light is focused. The difference is that PRK doesn’t require a cut in the cornea like LASIK does. Instead, a cool stream of ultraviolet light goes directly into the cornea to do the reshaping.


LASEK is short for laser epithelial keratomileusis. It is similar to PRK. During LASEK, an epithelial flap is created, and then an alcohol solution is used to loosen the epithelial cells. Next, a laser is used to reshape the cornea. In the final step, the surgeon places a contact lens to secure the epithelial cells as they heal. Like other laser procedures, LASEK treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Discover the difference better vision can make in your life with the help of Dr. Mark Hornfeld. You can schedule a consultation to discuss your vision problems and find out if laser eye surgery can help you. To reach our NYC practice, call (646) 681-3100.

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