Clinical Services

/templatefiles/umc_video.aspx?id=2147548944UMMC Match Day 2016Mannings for Health
  • Refractive Surgery

    Approximately every month we offer informative seminars for patients who want to learn more about our services, and to discuss questions about procedures performed by our corneal and refractive surgeons. The seminars are held at the UP Pavilion. You can sign up for this seminar by calling the Department of Ophthalmology at (601) 815-3248. 

    Many patients ask, "How can a laser correct my vision?" The laser removes tissue from the center of the cornea (in the case of myopia) to flatten its curvature and correct nearsightedness; in the case of farsightedness, tissue is removed from the periphery of the cornea to steepen its curvature. The laser essentially reshapes the cornea's front surface. To do this, the corneal stroma (tissue beneath the corneal epithelium) must be exposed. This can be accomplished by directly by creating a corneal flap with a microkeratome (LASIK) or removing the corneal epithelium with a laser (PRK).

    Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)

    The LASIK process also uses the excimer laser to reshape the cornea, but this is done under a thin, protective, corneal flap. Rather than vaporizing the epithelial cells to expose the corneal stroma, a flap of corneal tissue that is attached by a "hinge" is used in LASIK. This flap is created by using an instrument known as a microkeratome. The flap is then gently pulled back like a tiny, clear, hinged lid and the corneal stroma is exposed. The laser part of the LASIK procedure takes place in the exposed corneal bed. The laser application itself lasts about thirty to ninety seconds.

    After the exposed corneal stroma is treated by the laser and minute amounts of cells are vaporized, the flap is replaced in its original position. Amazingly, the flap is held in position by the eye's natural suction facility and provides increased comfort and decreased recovery time for the patient. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes per eye and again is virtually pain free.

    The amount of tissue removed in each of these procedures is determined by the patient's degree of refractive error. Before the laser is employed to vaporize the tissue, the degree of refractive error is translated into numbers that are entered into the laser's computer. The quantity and pattern of tissue removal unique to each patient are then calculated. Both PRK and LASIK are refractive procedures that utilize the precision of the excimer laser to reshape the surface of the eye by vaporizing corneal tissue.

    Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)

    This is a procedure in which the front surface of the cornea is directly sculpted by the excimer laser. The surgeon prepares the eye by gently removing the surface layer known as the corneal epithelium. This layer regenerates itself within a few days. Computer-controlled pulses are directed at the exposed surface (corneal stroma) to reshape the cornea. Less than 10 percent of the cornea is affected, with the deeper layers remaining untouched. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 minutes per eye and is virtually pain-free. PRK is an option for those patients with thin corneas who cannot undergo LASIK.

    PRK and LASIK comparison

    Range of correction Low to moderateLow to severe
    Depth of penetrationSuperficial20% deep
    Intraoperative painMinimalMinimal
    Postoperative painModerate, 24-48 hoursMinimal, 12 hours
    Postoperative medications1-3 months, possibly longer1-2 weeks
    Functional vision recovery3-5 days24 hours
    Visual results fully recognized3 weeks to several months1-4 weeks
    Return to work3-5 days1 day
    Risk of complicationsLow (less surgeon dependent)Low (more surgeon dependent)
    Risk of haze (scarring) in the central cornea1-2%<1%


    We can make a fingerprint of your vision.

    Your vision is unique - as personal as your fingerprint. Our WaveScan® technology creates a map of your vision. This is an analysis of the all the errors in your vision, even those not correctable by glasses. This information can be used during your surgery to not only correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism, but the other errors in your vision as well.

    Custom Wavefront procedure

    This procedure is currently available to those patients who are nearsighted with or without astigmatism. As shown in a clinical study, WaveScan-driven laser vision correction has the potential to produce better vision than is possible with glasses or contact lenses.

    In the FDA trials, 94 percent of participants could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contacts 74 percent of participants could see better than 20/20 without glasses or contacts.