What Types of Eye Surgeries are Performed at Woolfson Eye Institute?
Dr. Gabriela Gutierrez
At Woolfson Eye Institute we have multiple eye surgeons specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing a variety of conditions affecting various parts of the eye. Let’s look at some of these conditions (along with eye surgeries) starting with the front of the eye:
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
The eyelids protect and cover the eye and can develop extra skin or lose muscle tone and begin to droop over time. This condition is call ptosis (the p is silent). A common surgery to lift the eyelids by removing extra skin or fat is called a blepharoplasty, which can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids.
LASIK and PRK
The next structure, as we move from front to back is the cornea, the clear dome over the colored part of the eye (called the iris). There are several eye surgeries that are performed on the cornea, with the most common ones being refractive surgeries like laser vision correction (LVC) which include LASIK and PRK.
These are both surgeries that help to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.
- LASIK surgery involves creating a thin flap on the cornea and reshaping the surface to provide improved focus.
- PRK does not involve creating a flap, but instead the corneal epithelium (outermost layer of the cornea) is removed, with a laser then applied to reshape the cornea, but without penetrating as deeply as with LASIK.
- Most LASIK and PRK patients have a combination of nearsightedness and astigmatism, but the procedures are also offered to some farsighted patients.
Woolfson Eye Institute also offers several corneal eye surgeries to treat corneal conditions or disease.
For the disorder, epithelial basement membrane dystrophy, a superficial keratectomy (SK) can be performed in order to regularize the contour of a misshapen cornea. In this procedure, the very outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium, is removed with new cell growth leaving a smoother surface with improved vision as the result.
- Pterygium excision surgery is another procedure performed on the cornea that removes a corneal growth that can impact a patient’s vision and comfort. When the white portion of the eye begins to impinge on the clear portion, the surgeon needs to carefully separate the pterygium from the cornea.
- For patients with advanced cases of corneal diseases like keratoconus and Fuch’s dystrophy, a penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP) is a full-thickness transplant in which the entire damaged cornea is replaced with a healthy cornea from a deceased donor. This procedure can also provide benefit to patients with severe scarring to the cornea.
- Fuch’s dystrophy is a disorder in which the back corneal layer, the endothelium, is not working to adequately maintain corneal fluid content, resulting in corneal swelling that can cause severe clouding of the vision. Procedures abbreviated as DSEK, DSAEK, and DMEK are very similar surgeries that allow a patient with this disorder to enjoy renewed vision via transplantation of the endothelium and Descemet’s membrane.
Moving further back in the eye, the crystalline lens is just behind the cornea. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens that develops over time and causes reduced vision.
- As the lens becomes cloudy and discolored, typically in the 60s and beyond, cataract surgery can be offered. In this procedure, the natural lens can be removed and replacement with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
- There are elective refractive surgeries that are also performed on the crystalline lens. Clear lens exchange (CLE) or refractive lens exchange (RLE) are essentially cataract surgery that is performed prior to the development of cataracts. The clear lens is removed and an intraocular lens of a power appropriate to neutralize nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism replaces is implanted.
- There are several different types of intraocular lenses, including multifocal IOLs that could correct distance, intermediate, and near vision to enable freedom from glasses and contact lenses.
- Another refractive surgery is an implantable collamer lens (ICL) or phakic IOL in which an artificial lens is surgically placed inside the eye, just in front of the eye’s natural crystalline lens to provide vision correction.
Several Woolfson eye surgeons offer these procedures.
In between the lens and the back of the eye is the vitreous which is a jelly-like substance. A common retina surgery performed by a retinal surgeon is a vitrectomy which includes removal of some or all of the vitreous.
The vitreous is replaced with saline or a bubble made of gas or oil. A vitrectomy is performed to treat problems of the vitreous or retina, for instance when a diabetic patient has severe bleeding that blocks light from focusing properly on the retina.
The most posterior section of the eye is the retina, the sensory membrane that lines the inside of the back of the eye. It has several layers and contains the photoreceptors to allow us to see. A common retina surgery to repair retinal detachments includes a scleral buckle. This is when a band is surgically placed around the eye to push the retina back against the sclera (white of the eye).
Need an appointment? Call Woolfson Eye Institute today!
If you have any eye abnormalities or looking for a surgical solution to get rid of glasses and contacts, Woolfson Eye Institute has several skilled eye surgeons who are happy to help! Call today to schedule your appointment to see what type of eye surgery is the right one for you and your eyes.