Denver PRK, ICL/IOL Implantable Lenses
The experienced eye care specialists at Spivack Vision Center® are skilled in a variety of other vision correction procedures to help patients who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery achieve sharper vision. At our Centennial vision center near Denver, Colorado, we provide PRK, implantable lenses, and more using cutting-edge technology for the most successful results. Patients can rest assured they are receiving the most advanced treatment and care of the highest quality at Spivack Vision Center®.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a laser-assisted eye surgery commonly used to improve vision in patients who experience minor myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism (blurry vision due to a misshapen cornea). PRK differs from LASIK, another popular refractive eye surgery, because the surgeon does not have to cut a flap in the cornea as is required in LASIK surgery. Therefore, many patients in the Centennial and Denver area choose PRK over LASIK in part to avoid potential problems associated with creating the corneal flap.
Patients who have thin corneas and have had a stable vision prescription for at least one year may be good candidates for PRK. The surgery is not appropriate for patients who are pregnant or nursing at the time of the procedure because pregnancy raises hormones that cause tissue fluctuations within the eye, changing the refractive error. Contact us for a complimentary evaluation for you to learn if you are a candidate.
Before PRK Surgery
Before PRK surgery can be performed, a thorough eye exam and evaluation of the patient’s eye history must be completed. A doctor will determine whether the patient is a good candidate for PRK laser surgery by identifying any ocular irregularities, measuring the degree of refractive error in the eyes and the thickness of the pupil and cornea, examining a topographical map of the cornea, analyzing the tear function of the eyes, and discussing the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and expectations for the procedure.
Patients who wear contacts will need to discontinue wearing their lenses for a period of time before their pre-op. The doctor will advise you when to stop wearing them at your initial appointment. Refraining from wearing the corrective lenses ensures that the refractive error of the eyes is measured properly during the pre-surgery examination.
The PRK Surgery Operation
Immediately before PRK laser surgery, the eye is numbed with eye drops. The surgeon then uses the excimer laser, which emits a cool, concentrated beam of ultraviolet light, to reshape the surface of the cornea inside the eye and the underlying tissue. By smoothing the cornea’s surface and removing imperfections in the tissue, the surgeon can produce clearer vision. The PRK procedure takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Your doctor will advise you if both eyes can be treated during the same surgical session.
PRK Recovery Timeline - After Surgery
It is important to note that the period of recovery from PRK laser surgery is generally longer than the same period required for LASIK patients. Also, while LASIK patients notice dramatically improved vision almost immediately after their procedure, PRK patients often do not experience better vision for one or two weeks following their surgery at our Denver and Centennial area practice. PRK patients are commonly prescribed antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to reduce swelling and infection after their surgery.
However, PRK is still a popular alternative to traditional LASIK surgery because the corneal flap that must be made in LASIK surgery is not necessary in PRK. For this reason, some athletes and others with a higher risk of corneal trauma undergo a Denver PRK procedure rather than LASIK.
Madison Street Surgery Center
LASIK and PRK are procedures that are performed on the cornea of the eye. Since the cornea does not have an active red blood supply, the risk of infections is low. With more invasive procedures, such as cataract surgery, implantable contact lenses and refractive lens exchanges, the procedures can only be performed in an ambulatory surgery center. The surgeons at Spivack Vision Center® perform most of their intraocular (inside the eye) procedures at Madison Street Surgery Center, a State licensed, Medicare Approved, Ambulatory Surgical Center.
Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)
Implantable contact lenses, also known as phakic IOLs, are lenses that are placed inside the eye to permanently improve vision. ICLs function much the same as traditional external contact lenses and are similar to intraocular lenses, which are used during cataract surgery to replace the eye’s damaged natural lens. However, one important distinction between the two types of lenses is that during ICL surgery, the natural lens is retained, and it works with the new, implanted lens to improve vision.
ICLs are suitable for patients over 21years of age with moderate to severe myopia. Implantable contact lenses generally give those who are not candidates for laser vision correction procedures, such as LASIK, an effective option for permanent vision correction.
Visian Implantable Collamer® Lens Technology
The Visian ICL™, made from Collamer®, a collagen co-polymer, is foldable and inserted through a very small incision made in the surface of the eye. It is placed behind the iris and works with the eye’s existing natural lens to correct vision.
Implantable contact lenses are inserted into the eye during an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. During the procedure, the new lens is placed in front of the eye’s natural lens through a small incision in the cornea. Improved vision is often noticed the same day as surgery, and patients fully heal within a month. Contact Spivack Vision Center® in the Denver and Centennial area for more information about implantable lenses, PRK, and other treatment options.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Patients with refractive vision errors but who are not suitable for LASIK surgery because they have thin corneas, other minor cornea problems, or dry eyes may be candidates for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). RLE is essentially the same as cataract surgery, but it is performed only for refractive purposes. It is sometimes called Clear Lens Exchange (CLE), Refractive Lens Extraction (RLE), and Refractive Lens Replacement (RLR).
Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure
The RLE procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a silicone or plastic intraocular lens (IOL). New IOLs generally are sufficient to correct most cases of hyperopia (farsightedness) and myopia (nearsightedness). However, patients likely will require a form of LASIK vision-correction surgery in addition to RLE to correct vision problems associated with astigmatism.
Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery
RLE is an increasingly popular vision correction procedure, in part because it is relatively simple for surgeons to perform and it yields consistent, predictable results in most patients. It is beneficial to patients because recovery from the procedure is fast with few complications and there is no longer concern about developing cataracts on the artificial lens later in life.
After Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery
Recovery from RLE generally is faster and comes with fewer complications than other cornea-based refractive surgeries. However, RLE is a significantly more invasive surgery than any surgeries to treat corneal disease. As a result, extremely myopic patients have a greater chance of vitreous or retina problems after undergoing an RLE procedure. Also, people whose eyes have adjusted to their poor eyesight – an adjustment known as accommodation – will lose some or all of their accommodation after the RLE procedure.
Multifocal and Accommodating Lens Implants
Vision clouded by a cataract or presbyopia, an age-related condition, often can be corrected by implantation of a multifocal intraocular lens. During surgery, the natural lens is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL). A multifocal IOL works much like the natural lens it replaces, allowing a person to focus either at a distance or up close.
While there are different brands and styles of these revolutionary IOLs, your doctor will work with you to select the most appropriate lenses for your vision, your goals, and your lifestyle. Below are some of the IOL choices we offer.
ReSTOR® IOL Technology
AcrySof® ReSTOR® multifocal IOLs improve vision at all distances. The ReSTOR® lenses are specially designed to focus at both near and far distances, decreasing or eliminating a patient’s need for glasses.
Crystalens® IOL Technology
Crystalens® is a revolutionary single-focus lens implant which provides patients the ability to focus on objects that are near, far, and everywhere in between. Implanted during presbyopia treatment or cataract surgery, the lens can adjust to an individual’s vision needs. Crystalens® IOLs have special hinges on either side that move naturally with the eyes’ muscles to allow people to experience sharper vision, a process called pseudoaccommodation. This limits the need for reading glasses or contact lenses.
Tecnis® Multifocal Technology
Tecnis® Multifocal Technology is designed to improve vision for both distant and close vision, Most patients do not use full time correction after this lens is inserted.
Multifocal Lens Implant Procedure
During an IOL procedure, the eye’s damaged lens is removed and the IOL is implanted in its place through a small incision made in the surface of the eye. The surgeon typically folds the lens to insert it then allows it to open up flat into its permanent position once it is inside the eye. The procedure to implant an IOL typically takes less than an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis.
Schedule an Appointment for PRK or Another Procedure
Contact us to learn about Denver PRK, LASIK, other laser-assisted vision procedures, or for more information about our complete eye care services. We are committed to providing our patients with cutting-edge eye care.