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Ophthalmic Surgery

5 Commonly-Performed Types of Ophthalmic Surgery

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There are several types of ophthalmic surgery that can be used to correct eye issues. To simplify procedures, we've categorized different types of ophthalmic surgeries into five groups. Continue reading to learn more about different types of ophthalmic surgery used to remedy eye conditions.  

Refractive Types of Ophthalmic Surgery

The ultimate goal of refractive surgery is to bolster your patient’s vision. If your patient is farsighted or nearsighted, they suffer from a refractive error in their eyes. Light entering the eye doesn’t correctly focus on the retina — instead light focuses behind the retina in farsighted individuals or in front of the retina in nearsighted individuals. 

As a result, images can appear out of focus and blurry. Refractive ophthalmic surgery is designed to correct the error and allow light to accurately focus on the retina to eliminate the need for corrective lenses and improve vision. Thanks to technology, there are a vast range of refractive surgery methods. Some of the most popular include:

  • Intacs, ICRs, or Intracorneal Rings
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) 
  • Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK) or Epi-LASIK
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Cataract Types of Eye Procedures 

Undoubtedly, the most common type of ophthalmic procedure is the extraction of cataracts. Trauma, age, and illness can cause the crystalline lens of the eye to become opaque and cloudy. This cloudiness — known as a cataract — can hamper the eye’s ability to focus a clear image on the retina, which can cause vision loss

If the patient has a significant number of cataracts, it may require the extraction and replacement of the lens through cataract surgery. And there are a number of different types of cataract surgical procedures that can be performed:

  • Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE)
  • Intracapsular Cataract Extraction (ICCE)
  • Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (LACS)
  • Phacoemulsification or Phaco
  • Cryoanalgesia

Corneal Types of Eye Surgery 

Any surgical procedure that involves the manipulation of the cornea of the eye is categorized as corneal surgery. In fact, corneal types of ophthalmic surgeries encompasses most refractive surgeries because they involve the modification of the cornea to improve the patient’s vision. It may also include corneal transplant surgery, which is where a diseased or damaged cornea is taken out and replaced with an organ donor’s clear cornea. Other types of corneal surgery can include:

  • Pterygium Excision
  • Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
  • Penetrating keratoplasty (PK)

Oculoplastic Types of Ophthalmic Procedures  

Oculoplastic surgical procedures can be used to describe any surgery where the eye or its surrounding structures are reconstructed. For example:

  • Blepharoplasty is eyelid surgery where excessive fat, skin, and muscle are removed from the eyelid to correct puffy or sagging eyes. 
  • A brow lift — or browplasty — is the reconstruction of the brow bone or forehead. 

Oculoplastic procedures can also involve the complete or partial removal of the eye itself, such as with: 

  • Enucleation is when the eye is removed but the all of the orbital contents and muscles around the eye are left intact. 
  • Evisceration is when the eye and all of the contents are removed, leaving only the shell of the sclera in place.
  • Externation encompasses the removal of the entire orbital content, such as the surrounding fat, the actual eye, all connective tissues, and extraocular muscles.

Glaucoma Types of Surgery 

Today, more than 3 million Americans are living with glaucoma — a disease that raises intraocular pressure in the eye by attacking the optic nerve. Ultimately, glaucoma can cause vision loss. However, there are two different types of glaucoma surgeries that can be used to combat the condition by reducing intraocular pressure.

  • Laser surgery uses a focused beam of light to treat trabecular meshwork, which should help improve the flow of fluid out of the eye.
  • Incisional surgery is also called filtering surgery involves creating a hole for drainage in the eye by using a tiny surgical tool. The newly formed opening facilitates the aqueous fluid to blow out of the artificial canal and bypass the clogged drainage canals.

In most instances, laser surgery will be the first step. If it’s unsuccessful, the patient’s IOP continues to rise again, or the optic nerve is badly damaged; incisional surgery may be performed. 

Contact Keeler Today for Ophthalmic Surgery Equipment 

For more than 100 years, Keeler has engineered and produced cutting-edge diagnostic and surgical equipment, including cryomatic systems and surgical loupes

Contact Keeler today for the best ophthalmic surgical instruments and tools.

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.