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Life Changing Technology

Refractive surgery to improve vision has evolved since its beginning in the 1970s. Early techniques laid the foundation for researchers in their quest to surgically improve vision for millions and reduce or eliminate their need for glasses. Today, modern laser surgery is safe, effective, and millions of nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatic and presbyopic patients enjoy the freedom of clear vision.

As you read about the evolution of modern laser vision correction, it should be noted in the early development only low degrees of nearsightedness could be corrected. With the newest and latest technology not only can nearsightedness and farsightedness be corrected, but astigmatism and presbyopia can be corrected as well. Durrie Vision has been on the cutting edge of research by conducting the FDA clinical trials for all lasers in existence today.

History of Vision Correction Surgery

Radial Keratotomy (RK)

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.44.15 AM RK, the first refractive surgery technique to alter the shape of the cornea, was accidentally discovered in 1971 by a Russian doctor who observed a patient’s vision improved after glass hit his eye during an accident. The glass cut a spoke-like pattern, changing the shape of cornea. In the early 1980s, RK corrected low degrees of myopia by making small spokelike incisions in the cornea. RK was effective in changing the shape of the cornea, but was sometimes inaccurate, and often caused halos, glare and fluctuations in vision. No longer used, RK has been replaced by modern laser surgery.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK is still a widely used alternative to LASIK. PRK uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The first excimer lasers for vision correction surgery were introduced in the late 1980’s. PRK takes place on the surface of the cornea after the epithelium (outer layer of cells) is removed. The advantage of PRK is that there is no corneal flap created, but a longer visual recovery can be expected as well as possible discomfort for several days following the procedure.

Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.44.26 AMSoon after PRK was approved in 1989, doctors discovered that a faster recovery and greater patient comfort could be attained by creating a thin flap of the outer layers of the cornea using a handheld oscillating razor blade microkeratome, treating the inner layers with a laser, and returning the flap to its original position.

Sub Bowman’s Keratomileusis (SBK)

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.44.37 AMSBK is the most advanced form of vision correction available today and is being performed by the most progressive refractive surgeons. Also known as “all laser LASIK, or “blade-free LASIK,” SBK uses a femtosecond laser keratome, instead of a razor blade to create the flap in the cornea. With the femtosecond laser, a smaller, thinner and more precise flap is created. According to one study presented in 2009 at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, femtosecond laser incisions achieved perfect diameter accuracy in 100% of cases, while only 10% of surgeons’ manual cuts were within 0.25 mm error. Cutting less fibers and nerves, this procedure has produced faster visual recovery and greatly reduces dry eye complications of traditional LASIK. SBK is the only type of LASIK procedure that our surgeons perform.

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