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Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Many people do not realise initially that there are different types of technology and methods used for laser eye surgery, each of which is suitable for people with slightly different needs. Nobody has the exact same eyes so the treatment recommended by our laser specialist team may differ from one person to the next. The benefit of this is that even if you discover you are unable to have one method of laser eye surgery, you could still find another procedure to provide you with the great results you are looking for. Therefore, to help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes we offer three different types of laser vision correction procedures including the latest breakthrough in technology; SMILE, LASIK and PRK.

SMILE (Small Incision Lenticle Extraction)

SMILE is the quickest, most technologically advanced and precise laser eye surgery in the world. This one-step procedure is different from previous generations of laser eye surgery because it uses a keyhole technique that provides a minimally invasive treatment option for the correction of myopia and astigmatism.

The procedure involves a computer-guided, highly focused laser light to create a lenticule (a precise lens-shaped disk within the cornea), which is then removed through a tiny key hole incision. This one-step procedure is very quick and the laser component is all over in a mere 25 seconds! The technology is also designed to ensure it’s an extremely comfortable procedure with a rapid recovery. Most of our SMILE patients will be feeling great and will be back to work the next day.

We are proud to have been the first to introduce SMILE into Auckland and are now the most experienced providers. Being the leaders in our field, we have been offering this procedure since March 2015.

SMILE at a glance:

  • The world’s most advanced laser eye surgery
  • Minimally invasive – no flap and 100% blade-free
  • Minimal discomfort
  • No more glasses or contact lenses
  • The most precise procedure for patients with high levels of myopia
  • Corrects a large range of myopia and astigmatism
  • Rapid recovery; most people will be feeling great the next day
  • Less postoperative dry eye than Lasik
  • Not suitable for long-sightedness or very low levels of short-sightedness
  • You can be back to work the next day

LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis)

LASIK laser eye surgery is safe and proven to be effective for a wide range of common focusing problems including astigmatism, long-sightedness (hyperopia), short-sightedness (myopia) and wavefront abnormalities (where the eye has small imperfections which decreases its overall quality of vision).

Like all types of laser eye surgery, LASIK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye, the cornea. LASIK is a simple two-step, highly precise procedure: first a femtosecond laser uses tiny pulses of light to create microscopic bubbles under the surface of the cornea. This allows the surgeon to gently separate the layers and lift up a flap on the cornea, then an excimer laser is used to reshape the exposed area below. The flap is then simply placed back in position.

Auckland Eye has been offering this technology now for nearly two decades. In fact, the life-changing benefits are so significant that LASIK has become one of the most frequently performed elective surgeries in the world with, with over 30 million people already experiencing the freedom of life without glasses and contacts – thanks to LASIK.

LASIK at a glance:

  • Uses two lasers, a femtosecond laser and an excimer laser to reshape the front surface of the eye, the cornea.
  • The laser parts of the process take about 30-60 seconds
  • Practically painless procedure – 100% blade-free flap creation
  • Fast recovery time
  • No more glasses or contact lenses
  • Treats a wide range of prescriptions including astigmatism
  • Patients will have good vision on the day after the surgery
  • The entire LASIK experience only takes around an hour on the day, including preparation time, the procedure itself and relaxation time afterwards.
  • You can be back to work the next day
  • Can be combined with Presbyond for those with long-sightedness to provide good near as well as distance vision

PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)

PRK is the original proven and effective laser eye surgery procedure. We have been offering this treatment for over 25 years, and it has improved the lives of literally thousands of people who have walked through our doors over the years.

PRK works by reshaping the cornea in the same way as LASIK, but the reshaping is done on the surface once the epithelial cells, the skin on the surface of the eye, have been removed.  At the end of the laser treatment, a bandage contact is used. The surface cells then regenerate, which can take several days, and it is often 7-10 days for your vision to settle.

Due to the longer recovery period (compared to LASIK and SMILE), PRK is now less commonly used. Nonetheless, it is still a proven and effective technique for correcting vision and a valid option for people with very thin corneas who are not eligible for our SMILE or LASIK options.

PRK at a glance:

Although PRK offers an effective and proven treatment for those who have…

  • Low to moderate myopia
  • Low astigmatism
  • A thin cornea which rules out SMILE or LASIK
  • Previous laser eye/refractive surgery

Laser Vision Correction with Auckland Eye

All of these procedures utilise the latest technology combined with our extensive expertise to provide clearer vision. At Auckland Eye you can be confident that you are receiving the most advanced techniques currently available, delivered with the utmost care.

If you are considering the idea of getting laser vision correction but want to find out more about the procedure first and which option is right for you, you will need to come in for a full introductory assessment with our specialists. To take your first step towards finding freedom in your vision, why not book your introductory assessment today? It’s FREE!

Call 0800 63 93 93 or email

Laser Thursday, 22 Nov 2018

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