Other Presbyopia Surgery
In addition to laser presbyopia surgery, there are a number of non-laser vision correction procedures available for the surgical correction of presbyopia.
In some cases, a non-laser presbyopia correction surgery may involve the use of a femtosecond laser to perform a specific task in the procedure, such as creating an incision or pocket in the cornea. But the actual vision correction in these procedures accomplished by implantation of a presbyopia-correcting lens or other optical device.
A femtosecond laser, unlike excimer lasers used in LASIK that remove tissue from the surface of the eye in a vaporization process called ablation, is capable of making changes to the molecular structure within the cornea and can reshape the eye or make incisions in the cornea without ablating tissue.
Non-laser presbyopia correction surgery includes corneal procedures and lens-based procedures that take place deeper inside the eye.
Like LASIK, LASEK or PRK, conductive keratoplasty (CK) is a corneal refractive surgery that affects only the front surface of the eye. But CK doesn't remove any corneal tissue with an excimer laser. Instead, the surgeon uses a small hand-held probe to deliver low-level, radio-frequency (RF) energy to specific spots in the periphery of the cornea.
The RF energy shrinks the corneal tissue in these spots, which causes the central cornea to steepen in curvature. This change in the shape of the cornea gives the eye more magnifying power to restore near vision lost to presbyopia.
Conductive keratoplasty used for presbyopia correction also is called NearVision CK. The procedure typically is performed on one eye only to correct presbyopia using a monovision approach.
Corneal implants and inlays (such as KAMRA inlays) are tiny artificial lenses and other refractive devices that are implanted within the cornea to reshape the eye and provide added magnifying power to restore near vision and correct presbyopia.
A small pocket is created in the cornea with a femtosecond laser, and the implant or inlay (typically less than 4.0 millimeters in diameter) is placed within the cornea, directly in front of the pupil.
The corneal implant procedure usually is performed on one eye only for a modified monovision approach to presbyopia correction. Brand names of corneal implants and inlays include PresbyLens, Kamra and Flexivue.
Refractive Cataract Surgery
Refractive cataract surgery is the term used to describe modern cataract surgery where the goal is to reduce a person's need for corrective eyeglasses (including reading glasses) after cataracts are removed.
This advanced type of cataract surgery can be used to correct presbyopia when premium intraocular lenses (IOLs), such as accommodating IOLs and multifocal IOLs, are implanted in one or both eyes during the procedure. Refractive cataract surgery also can correct presbyopia with traditional monofocal IOLs if a monovision approach is used.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is virtually the same procedure as refractive cataract surgery, but instead of removing the eye's natural lens after it has become clouded with a cataract, the surgeon removes the natural lens when it is still clear, replacing it with a refractive IOL to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.
RLE originally was developed to correct large amounts of nearsightedness using traditional monofocal intraocular lenses. But with the development of accommodating IOLs and multifocal IOLs, RLE now can correct presbyopia as well.
Consult a Refractive Surgeon
Because of the growing number of people with presbyopia in the United States and elsewhere, the demand for presbyopia correction surgery is increasing rapidly, and new surgical procedures are being developed and tested worldwide.
For the latest information about approved laser and non-laser presbyopia surgery, visit our directory to find a refractive surgeon near you and schedule a consultation.
Note: This information is for general education purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice from your eye doctor or refractive surgeon.