Cornea Smoothing Procedures

What Cornea Features are Required for Clear Vision?

The cornea is the clear window at the front of the eye. It must be smooth and transparent to provide quality vision. Some conditions make the cornea less clear, less strong, or irregular in shape. These conditions may result in blurry vision, difficulty with bright lights, or discomfort. When these symptoms become bothersome, surgical treatment may be recommended.

What Procedures are Used to Smooth the Cornea?

The most commonly used procedures used to smooth the cornea include superficial keratectomy (SK) and phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). SK is a procedure that uses manual techniques to smooth the cornea. PTK uses a combination of manual techniques and laser energy to achieve a smoother corneal surface. If you are in need of a corneal smoothing procedure, your surgeon will evaluate your eye and discuss the recommended approach.

Both SK and PTK are performed as outpatient procedures in the clinic setting. Numbing drops are placed in the eye and an instrument is used to hold the eyelids open during the procedure. After the cornea is smoothed, a bandage contact lens is typically placed on the eye to help with healing.

What Problems are Treated with Corneal Smoothing Procedures?

Corneal diseases and injuries involving the surface layers of the cornea may often be improved with SK or PTK procedures. Examples include:

What to Expect Before Your Procedure

Your doctor will schedule a clinic visit to evaluate and discuss your condition. At this visit, you will undergo a detailed eye examination including vision assessment, measurement of your glasses prescription (refraction), and mapping of the corneal shape (topography). This helps your doctor assess how to best treat your eyes. After evaluating the results of these measurements and examining your eyes, your doctor will discuss whether treatment is indicated and which procedure is recommended for you.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

After the procedure, the eye usually feels irritated or painful for 3-5 days. The bandage contact lens will be removed in clinic days or weeks after surgery. You will be asked to place drops in the eye for several weeks to help with healing.

Vision in the eye will likely be somewhat blurry during the initial healing period. The vision gradually improves each week. Your glasses prescription will likely shift as the eye heals. If needed, glasses may often be updated when the eye stabilizes 1-3 months after the procedure.

Cornea Smoothing Surgery, Stillwater, MN

Associated Eye Care offers treatment for cornea problems at our clinic on Curve Crest Boulevard in Stillwater. Cornea smoothing consultations are scheduled with Dr. Vislisel at our Stillwater and Woodbury locations. Schedule an appointment now or call (800) 846-1877 for more information.

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Jesse M. Vislisel, M.D.

Corneal & External Disease, Refractive Surgery (Including LASIK), Cataract Surgery, Comprehensive Ophthalmology

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Dr. Vislisel is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cornea, external disease, and refractive surgery. He received
his medical degree from the University of Iowa in 2007 and graduated with Research Distinction. He then completed his medical internship in Tucson, Arizona and returned to the highly-ranked University of Iowa for his ophthalmology residency and fellowship training in cornea and external eye disease where he received the Fellow Teaching Award and the P.J. Leinfelder award for excellence in research. He has special interest in cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, corneal crosslinking, anterior segment and ocular surface surgery, and laser refractive surgery such as LASIK.

Dr. Vislisel enjoys technology and the rapid technological advances that occur in the field of ophthalmology. He has authored many peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and previously served as an editorial board member and chief medical editor for EyeRounds.org, a leading resource for ophthalmology education. His outside interests include music, cycling, fishing, outdoor recreation, and spending time with his wife and three children at the family cabin.

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