Schedule an appointment (614) 939-1600

LASIK vs. Advanced Surface Treatment

LASIK and Advanced Surface Treatment (AST) are two of the most popular laser eye surgeries used to correct common vision problems. If you’ve been considering laser eye surgery, you’re probably wondering how these procedures differ. Both surgeries use computer guided lasers to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, but they differ in the specific methods they use to reach your cornea— the window of your eye that allows light to enter and helps to focus the light rays.

Since all eyes are unique, one procedure might be better for you than another. Your eye surgeon will ultimately determine which surgeries you qualify for, but in the meantime, here’s your guide to the differences between these procedures:

 

LASIK Explained

LASIK is the most popular laser eye surgery because the recovery period is short, and patients typically experience very little pain or discomfort. In order to qualify for LASIK, you must have healthy corneal tissue with adequate thickness.

The Procedure

During LASIK eye surgery, an eye surgeon uses a small blade or cutting laser to create a small flap on the top layer of the cornea. The flap is folded back, and then a second laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. Once the right amount of tissue has been removed, the flap is replaced. LASIK eye surgery usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye.

Benefits of LASIK

  • LASIK involves very little pain or discomfort
  • LASIK has a short recovery time
  • Many patients have experience 20/20 vision after LASIK

Who is the Right Candidate for LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery success relies on your eyes meeting certain criteria. You’re a good candidate for LASIK if:

Your eyes are healthy

If there is disturbance to the health of the eye like inflammation, infection, injury, dryness or other certain chronic health issues, your candidacy for LASIK may be affected. Treatment to resolve any issues may be required before proceeding safely with LASIK.

You have adequate corneal thickness

If the corneal thickness is not adequate to meet certain safety parameters, then LASIK may not be the right option. Advanced Surface Treatment might be a good alternative procedure for you.

Your pupils aren’t overly large

If your pupils are naturally large, you have a higher risk of side effects like halos, glares and starbursts, especially when driving at night.

Your prescription isn’t too high

LASIK eye surgery results are less predictable if you have very severe refractive errors.

You’ve had stable vision for at least a year

It’s important that your vision remains stable for at least 12 months before undergoing LASIK.

 

LASIK Recovery and Possible Complications

LASIK eye surgery has a very short recovery period. Some people may experience blurry vision immediately after surgery, but this usually only lasts 24 hours. Dry eye symptoms are common in the weeks to months after LASIK, but these are typically very mild and temporary. Your eye doctor might prescribe you eye drops to use.

The risks and complications of LASIK eye surgery include but are not limited to overcorrections, under corrections, infection, inflammation, dryness, and the need for further surgery. It’s important not to rub your eyes and eyelids after surgery because doing so could disrupt the corneal flap and affect your vision.

 

 

Advanced Surface Treatment (AST) Explained

Advanced Surface Treatment (AST) is another laser eye surgery also known as PRK and Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA).

The Procedure

During AST, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape corneal tissue without creating a flap in the surface of the eye. Instead, the thin outer layer of the cornea is removed completely, and it grows back within a few days after surgery. AST eye surgery usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye.

AST eliminates the risk of flap-related complications, but it’s more uncomfortable than LASIK and requires more recovery time. AST fell out of popularity when LASIK was created, but it’s made a comeback in recent years. AST is a better option for patients with thinner corneas.

Benefits of Advanced Surface Treatment

  • There are no corneal flap complications like those possible with LASIK since the outer layer of the cornea is removed completely
  • It makes laser eye surgery possible for patients with thin corneas
  • Many patients have 20/20 vision after AST

Who is the Right Candidate for Advanced Surface Treatment?

AST eye surgery success relies on the patient meeting certain criteria. You’re a good candidate for AST if:

Your eyes are healthy

If there is disturbance to the health of the eye like inflammation, infection, injury, dryness or other certain chronic health issues, your candidacy for AST may be affected. Treatment to resolve any issues may be required before proceeding safely with AST.

You have thin corneas

Since AST involves the complete removal of the outer corneal layer, it’s an ideal surgery for patients with thinner corneas who may not qualify for LASIK.

Your pupils aren’t overly large

If your pupils are naturally large, you have a higher risk of side effects like halos, glares and starbursts, especially when driving at night.

Your prescription isn’t too high

AST eye surgery results are less predictable if you have very severe refractive errors.

You’ve had stable vision for at least a year

It’s important that your vision remains stable for at least 12 months before undergoing AST.

 

Advanced Surface Treatment Recovery and Possible Complications

The recovery period for AST is longer than LASIK since the entire outer layer of the cornea must grow back after surgery. This usually takes 4 days. Once the cells have returned, the vision continues to improve over several weeks. Individual timelines will vary.

The risks of AST eye surgery include complications related to overcorrections, under corrections, and infections. It’s important not to itch your eyes after surgery because doing so could keep the outer layer of the cornea from growing back correctly.

 

 

LASIK & ASA Comparison

Still confused on some of the differences between LASIK and Advanced Surface Treatment? Here’s a useful comparison chart that outlines some of the most important differences between LASIK and AST:

 

Schedule a Consultation Today

LASIK and AST are similar surgeries with different procedures. Depending on your eye anatomy and lifestyle, one procedure may be better for you than another. The best way to decide between the two is to consult an experienced laser eye surgeon in Columbus, Ohio.

Call (614) 215-9014 to schedule an appointment at Columbus Laser & Cataract Center today.

Would you like to schedule an appointment with Columbus Laser & Cataract Center?