You will be required to keep your gaze fixed at the blinking fixation green light straight ahead. You may also want to check if the technology used at the clinic of your choice has advanced eye tracking and iris recognition technology, so that the laser application is applied more accurately and will cease immediately should your eye shift out of focus.
TransPRK only takes approximately 5 to 6 minutes per eye, while standard LASIK takes 10 minutes to 15 minutes per eye, about double the time – mostly due to the additional stage of cutting of the cornea flap.
No, the procedure is done completely under local anesthesia via eye drops. The eye drops are instilled just before the surgery and will numb the eyes so that there is no pain felt throughout the procedure.
You will be given up to 5 days of MC, including the day of the surgery itself. Many patients report that they see and feel well and are tempted to go back to work early. However, it is advisable not to go back to work the first three days after the operation so as to reduce the risk of infection and to put in the prescribed eye drops at the prescribed intervals for fast and safe recovery.
You should stop soft contact lens wear for at least 2-3 days before coming for the procedure. For hard contact lens wearer, 10 days of cessation is necessary.
All laser vision correction procedures are done under eye drops anesthesia. In other words, only numbing drops are used. There is no injection given and rest assured that the procedure is painless.
Most patients will find that they are able to see clearly without the need
to wear glasses or contact lenses after laser vision correction. But there is no absolute guarantee that you do not need to wear glasses after surgery. For those patients with high powers, sometimes residual power remains that may require glasses to be worn to achieve 6/6 or perfect vision. When glasses need to be worn after surgery, they will be of significantly reduced power and dependence.
Medisave cannot be used to claim for laser vision correction as the procedure falls under the category of a “cosmetic” operation.
There are 2 general methods to for laser vision correction – standard LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) procedure such as TransPRK. They are both widely recognised procedures for correcting myopia. In selected cases, it can also be used to correct astigmatism and far-sightedness.
LASIK is also known as the flap-and-zap method. During LASIK, a cut is made across the cornea such that a flap is created. The flap is then lifted, and laser correction will be applied to the underlying cornea tissue. After which, the flap is closed back without any form of stitches.
TransPRK on the other hand, is an advanced surface ablation where no cut is made to the cornea. During surgery, the uppermost surface layer of cells – also known as the epithelium layer – is removed using laser. Laser correction is then applied to the underlying cornea.
As the epithelium cells have regenerative properties, these cells will grow back on its own in 3-5 days. In this way, corneal tissue loss and nerve damage can be better preserved.
For every surgery, the surgeon is of paramount importance. An experienced and capable surgeon will keep surgical complications in check. Furthermore, reduced time taken during surgery done by an experience surgeon will result in more accurate results. As such, you may want to make sure the surgeon is well experienced in laser refractive procedures and is board certified. You may also want to check if he has a good reputation in the community, and if he is committed to his patients before, during and after the surgery.
Most surgeons will set it as 18 years and above. Some will set it as 16 years and above but the eye power should also have been stable for the past two years. Parents’ consent will also be needed for the younger patients. There is no oldest age limit but those over 60 years of age frequently have cataracts developing and would be better served by a cataract operation.
Enhancement surgery may be recommended for some patients who have significant amounts of residual eye power six months or more after the initial procedure. However, this depends on whether there is enough cornea tissue thickness to allow safe enhancement. For ReLEx SMILE patients, enhancement is possible only through a different technique i.e. Advanced Surface Ablation methods such as TransPRK. For LASIK patients who need enhancements, if the residual cornea thickness beneath the flap is too thin, Advanced Surface Ablation methods such as TransPRK can be done on the flap surface.
When laser vision correction first started, the industry standard was to do one eye at a time. However with advances in technology and technique, it is acceptable and safe to go for bilateral laser vision correction as the risk of serious simultaneous bilateral complications is extremely low. Today, most patients (over 98%) will opt to do the surgery on both eyes at the same time for convenience in terms of taking medical leave and having to go through the discomfort of the recovery process twice. Furthermore, if patients opt to do one eye at a time, they will experience the discomfort and disruption of having imbalance vision during the interim period between the first and the second eye.
You will need to go through an in-depth evaluation, where the optometrists and eye doctor will check your eyes thoroughly. In general, these are some of the factors that determines your suitability: (1) cornea shape (2) cornea thickness (3) any existing eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, etc. The maximum power for safe correction is usually limited to 1,200 degrees.
You may want to opt for TransPRK over LASIK if:
Yes. The most common strategy for those who have presbyopia is to aim for close to perfect vision in the dominant eye (usually the right eye) and deliberately aim for some under-correction in the other eye.
Modern laser vision correction is safe and problem-free in the vast majority of cases. However, there is no such thing as risk-free surgery. The surgery will have the risk of complications such as infections, inflammation, acute dry eye, under/over correction, glare, halos and starbursts. Such conditions, however, do not occur often. Nevertheless, to ensure a smooth recovery, patients should also do their parts by following the doctor’s post-surgery instructions diligently.
Because there is a cut made across the cornea, LASIK has the additional risk of flap complications. These include: flap infection, flap inflammation, risk of flap dislodgement caused by rubbing or a finger poke or sports injury. Another complication resulting from a cut flap is acute and chronic dry eye because of the thousands of tiny cornea nerve endings are being severed in the process of cutting the cornea flap.
In theory yes, but in practical reality, very unlikely.
The procedure is contra-indicated in pregnancy. Women who are breastfeeding should not go for the procedure unless the baby is over eighteen months of age where the risk of eye drops medications affecting the child is low. But if you want to be completely safe, go for the surgery only after you have stopped breastfeeding your child.
Yes, soft contact lenses, including cosmetic lenses can still be worn but only after three months. Hard lenses cannot be worn as they tend to slip due to the altered cornea curvatures.
No, as the entry wound for cataract surgery is at a different part of the eye. But your eye surgeon will need to factor in the new cornea curvature when he does the calculation and selection of the intra-ocular lens implant for the cataract surgery.