LASIK vs. Other Types of Laser Treatment for the Eyes

LASIK vs. Other Types of Laser Treatment for the Eyes

There are different types of LASIK treatment for patients with refractive error in their eyes. The goal is to achieve perfect vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Meanwhile, all the LASIK procedures are performed with the excimer laser, a particular type of laser. By implication, all eye surgeries that use the LASIK procedures are similar. But the difference comes when we use other types of laser apart from the excimer. 

The different laser manufacturers include Visx, Alcon, Wavelight, Bausch & Lomb, and Nidek. Meanwhile, other types of laser ablations are involved with LASIK treatment for the eyes. Examples include Conventional Laser, wavefront-optimized therapy, and wavefront-guided treatments. 

This article will describe these laser ablation types and some of the other kinds of refractive surgery LASIK you can find.

Significant Types of Laser Ablations

Conventional vs Custom Lasik

The Conventional LASIK

The conventional LASIK procedure is an ablation pattern that most lasers used to treat refractive errors managed with glasses. Therefore, the procedure requires the glasses prescription with all its fixed treatment parameters. In addition, it may also be patient-specific and can be very effective for most patients. However, the risk of this process is that it can result in some visual aberrations like halos, glare, and night vision. 

Wavefront-optimized LASIK

The wavefront-optimized LASIK procedure is the type of laser eye surgery where the wavelength laser is applicable. This type of treatment also depends on the patient’s glasses prescription. In addition to the medication, it also considers the corneal curvature and thickness. The method is to apply laser energy to the reshaping of the periphery of the cornea. This laser ablation is effective in reducing any complications that may arise in the process. Moreover, these ablations can occur alongside the conventional laser treatment. To read about the Risks and Checklist of having a LASIK Eye Surgery visit

Wavefront-guided LASIK

Lasik wavefront guided - YouTube

The wavefront-guided LASIK eye surgery is also referred to as the custom LASIK or simply as wavefront LASIK. This method is similar to what you have in the conventional LASIK. However, it treats the patient’s fundamental refractive error and alters the eye by treating any high-order aberrations. 

Furthermore, there can also be some unique mapping of the eye organ in the wavefront-guided LASIK procedure. This mapping usually takes place before the surgery. It helps identify all irregularities within the patient’s entire optical system. However, in the case of severe abnormalities, they can also affect the quality of the vision the patient sees.

Other pieces of evidence of an irregular optical system include contrast sensitivity and night vision. Moreover, a wavefront-guided LASIK is applicable when a more significant irregularity is evident in the patient through mapping. At the same time, the treatment depends on the generated wavefront map. 

Other types of Refractive Eye Surgery 

Apart from the eye surgery that involves using the LASIK procedure, other types of refractive surgery may apply to specific patients. In other words, LASIK surgery does not apply to every patient, particularly those older than 40. So, if the initial or preliminary tests reveal that the LASIK procedure is not appropriate, then the patient can enroll for any of the other refractive eye surgeries below;

Advanced surface ablation

LASIK is not the only procedure that uses the excimer laser tool to reshape a patient’s cornea. There are other methods and techniques without the creation of a corneal flap. Any technique that approaches eye surgery this way is referred to as an advanced surface ablation (ASA). An example is photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK). 

Kansas City's Advanced Surface Ablation and PRK | Durrie Vision

Another one is the epiploic laser in situ keratomileuses (Epi-LASIK). Moreover, all these techniques involve removing the central part of the superficial corneal layer, the epithelium. Afterward, the surgeon then performs an excimer laser ablation on the eyes. 

However, if a patient has extreme myopia, neither LASIK nor an advanced surface ablation is advisable. Instead, an aphakic interocular lens should be applied. In this case, the process involves implanting a lens inside the eye. And it can effectively deal with nearsightedness to a degree of -20 diopters. 

Conductive keratoplasty

Eye Lance

The conductive keratoplasty (CK) is the technique applicable for a temporary correction of hyperopia (farsightedness) or presbyopia. The CK process also requires radiofrequency waves in the cornea peripheral that can cause it to shrink and steepen at the center. In addition, conductive keratoplasty is also a very safe procedure, only that it may not have a very long-lasting effect. And many times, there may be cases of regression after some years. 

Intracorneal ring segments

Intracorneal Ring Segments: Background, History of the Procedure,  Indications

According to Addition Technology, Inc., Intacs are the approved methods for the correction of low myopia or shortsightedness for patients. Moreover, it is beneficial for patients who also have keratoconus. The process involves the use of some micro-thin plastic segments by planting them into the peripheral cornea. In addition, the purpose of this insertion is to flatten the cornea centrally after the insertion. 

At the same time, after the insertion of the segments, it is not likely that the patient will feel the rings. After then, the surgeon may remove the rings while the effect is completely reversible. Meanwhile, it can also correct shortsightedness to a degree of up to -3 diopters. Besides, it can also enhance visual recovery slowly with a less predictable outcome than LASIK.

Is the LASIK Eye Surgery for You?

No doubt, refractive eye surgery using the LASIK procedure is not for everyone. Before enrolling in the procedure, there is a need to undergo a complete eye examination. This step is necessary to ascertain the need for any eye surgery in the first place. The cross-examination will also require an expert surgeon to do all the steps required in the future.


On a final note, LASIK eye surgery is a fantastic procedure that can produce outstanding results. Moreover, there may be other eye treatment types that are more suitable for any patient other than LASIK. In other words, it is not just about the cost or the eventual result of the LASIK eye surgery. But the first step of determining if you should go for it or consider other options that may be more suitable for you in person.