Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is a more progressive form of what we used to refer to as PRK. Other surgeons or surgical facilities may refer to the procedure as LASEK or epi-LASIK. ASA patients are treated with exactly the same advanced technology as our iLASIK patients, with the only difference during the first step of the procedure. Instead of making a corneal flap as we would with an iLASIK procedure, we place a well on the cornea and fill it with a diluted alcohol solution. We allow that to rest there for approximately 30 seconds, then rinse the solution away. This results in a softened layer of skin cells on the cornea that we can simply move out of the way to expose the secondary layer of corneal cells. This layer is then reshaped with the same advanced technology of the VISX Star 4 utilizing wavefront-guided custom treatment. Following the treatment, a bandage soft contact lens will be placed on the eye for protection. This temporary contact lens is worn for a few days during the healing process.
ASA may be the best procedure for your unique eyes, and we will let your know at your VIP Consultation if we believe it is your best option. The advantages of ASA are less post-operative dry eyes, less corneal tissue disturbed during surgery, no corneal flap post-operatively with fewer risks. The minor downside is that ASA takes longer to recover from than LASIK, and ASA patients can expect to have variable vision for 3-4 days post-operatively in most cases. The techniques we have developed for treating patients with ASA at Eye LASIK Austin are a huge improvement over the older PRK methods, and as a result our patients have much less discomfort post-operatively than PRK patients of the past.
The long-term results of ASA and iLASIK are virtually identical. Patients of both procedures are treated with the exact same advanced technology utilizing the wavefront-guided treatment and iris-registration tracking package of the VISX. We will help you understand which procedure is best suited for you at your consultation. Click here for important safety information.