When you make the decision to seriously consider having LASIK vision correction, you may be frustrated if you learn the procedure is not right for your eyes. However, that frustration may turn into renewed excitement if your eye doctor informs you that AST (Advanced Surface Treatment) is a better option – especially when you learn that you can achieve the same vision results with AST.
How AST Differs from LASIK
Both LASIK and AST involve the use of an excimer laser to remove tiny amounts of corneal tissue to create a more ideal shape and correct a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). This allows light to focus on the retina for clear vision.
How your Harrisburg AST doctor accesses this corneal tissue is where the two procedures differ:
- LASIK: your doctor creates a hinged corneal flap that is folded back for excimer laser treatment and then replaced on the cornea where it begins to heal immediately. There is a risk of flap complications with LASIK.
- AST: your doctor removes a thin layer of tissue from the surface of the cornea (the epithelium). After the excimer laser treatment is complete, the tissue on the surface needs time to grow back, which typically takes 72 hours.
Both AST and LASIK are outpatient procedures that require a short amount of surgery time.
The recovery time for AST is typically longer than with LASIK because of the time needed for the surface of your eye to heal and you may, initially, experience more discomfort. The complete healing process goes on for a number of weeks, similar to LASIK, and visual outcomes continue to improve over time.
So, which is better: AST or LASIK?
The answer to this question depends on your eye anatomy and eye health. Only a qualified, experienced ophthalmologist can perform the level of assessment needed to identify the right treatment for you. The doctors at Schein Ernst Mishra Eye can do just that…and we’ll do it for free.
Contact us today to schedule your free LASIK Consultation with us so we can make the best procedure recommendation for you.