LASIK is the most commonly performed procedure for laser vision correction. It can correct visual errors in the vast majority of farsighted (hyperopic), nearsighted (myopic), and astigmatic patients. These conditions are known as refractive errors.  During laser eye surgery, a paper-thin flap in the cornea is created using the IntraLase femtosecond laser to give a custom-designed laser access to the corneal tissue underneath. The laser that is used to re-profile the cornea, to correct refractive errors, is the Star S4 laser.  This is an excimer laser, which Dr. Mandel began researching at Columbia in 1984, more than a decade before it received approval from the FDA for use in human treatment. The replacement of the flap after the laser treatment allows for a fast recovery. In fact, the day after their laser eye surgery, most patients are able to return to work, exercise and return to most of their normal daily activities. It is not just the laser, but the longstanding technique that makes LASIK so popular.

LASIK can also help treat presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses after the age of 40.  This type of LASIK is known as monovision LASIK.  Read more about this exciting alternative to reading glasses here. Dr. Mandel explains the differences between LASIK eye surgery and PRK eye surgery in the video below:



The same excimer laser used to correct vision in LASIK is used for PRK. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve the creation of a flap in the cornea. In both LASIK and PRK, Dr. Mandel reshapes the tissue beneath the epithelium, the very thin top layer of the cornea. In PRK, the epithelium is removed. Because the epithelium is affected, the healing time is longer with PRK than with LASIK. Patients usually have to wear a bandage contact lens for five to eight days following the laser eye surgery, during which time the vision is somewhat blurred. In addition, steroid eye drops are used, and Vitamin C tablets are taken for up to one year.

Dr. Mandel explains the differences between LASIK eye surgery and PRK eye surgery in the above video.