Advanced Surface Ablation/PRK
“Flap-less” Blade-Free Laser Vision Correction
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is also sometimes referred to as Blade-Free Laser Vision Correction. ASA is a highly advanced form of photo-refractive keratectomy, or PRK, which is a procedure that reshapes the cornea with laser light. ASA uses highly sophisticated excimer lasers capable of eye tracking and wavefront customized treatment to reshape the front surface of the cornea and correct vision. There is no corneal flap created with this surgery. A temporary soft contact lens is placed on the eye for a few days during the healing process. ASA treatment may be preferred for certain patients with very thin corneas or unusually shaped corneas. Our experienced ophthalmologists can determine if you’re an ideal candidate for this technique during your initial consultation.
This completely blade-free approach to eye surgery is attractive to many patients. One very minor disadvantage of ASA is that vision is often slightly blurry for a few days after the surgery. This blurring is only temporary, and nearly all patients are able to drive about four days after the surgery. The ASA procedure we perform today is a very far cry from excimer laser surgery we performed twenty years ago, commonly referred to as first generation PRK. While those early cases provided excellent results, there was definitely more discomfort with surgery from that era. With vastly improved lasers and techniques today’s ASA is nearly discomfort-free in most patients.
“Flap-less” ASA laser vision correction is sometimes referred to as LASEK or epi-LASIK. ASA patients are treated with exactly the same advanced wavefront-guided custom lasers as our LASIK patients, and the accuracy and long-term results of ASA and LASIK are virtually identical. Many patients who would be candidates for either LASIK or ASA will elect to have ASA simply because it offers comparable results with the advantages of a completely “flap”-free surgery.
Advanced Surface Ablation FAQ
What Is the difference between LASIK and ASA?
For more information on Advanced Surface Ablation, click on the following FAQ links:
I’m not sure I understand the difference between LASIK and ASA?
Both LASIK and ASA utilize an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The laser is so precise that it takes several pulses of light to remove a single cell. In ASA, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, which requires a slightly longer healing time, with most patients able to drive about four days later. LASIK involves creating a thin flap of tissue, retracting the flap, and applying the laser underneath the flap. The flap is then replaced, and it adheres very quickly on its own. LASIK patients see well the very next day. Discomfort with both procedures is typically mild.
I’m considering LASIK and ASA. How do I know which procedure is right for me?
Both LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) produce excellent results for most patients. LASIK offers the advantages of very rapid recovery of vision, minimal or no discomfort, and excellent accuracy. There are some patients who are better candidates for ASA, however. Generally speaking, these are patients with very thin corneas, or corneas with certain types of surface abnormalities. A complete eye exam with one of our doctors can identify the best options for you.
Dell Laser Consultants provides a very extensive pre-operative work-up, utilizing technologies unavailable at most laser clinics. Most clinics simply measure the curvature of the front surface of the eye. We use a sophisticated device called a Pentacam® to measure the front and back curvature and elevation of the cornea, as well as the thickness of every point on the cornea. We also perform advanced wavefront analysis of the entire optical power of the eye, from the front of the cornea all the way back to the retina. These instruments help us customize the best treatment options for your individual situation.
For more information on our equipment please check out our technology section.
Want to learn about more vision enhancement options? Find out about Custom-LASIK and Custom-ASA.
If you have additional questions about ASA or LASIK, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled ophthalmologists, please contact us today.