Keratomileusis (2)


Stepping into the world of keratomileusis feels like one of the biggest blessings of medical advancements. It’s a game-changer for numerous individuals who’ve spent a lifetime tethered to corrective lenses, offering a shot at freedom in a mere matter of minutes. Whether you’re tired of searching for your glasses first thing every morning or you’re ready to dive into life without contacts, LASIK could be the beginning of a whole new you. 

Let’s learn more, from the science behind the magic to the firsthand experiences that make it all worth it. Get to know the ins and outs of LASIK, and how this refractive procedure medicine can transform your view of the world.

What is Keratomileusis?

Keratomileusis meaning LASIK, refers to a type of refractive eye surgery aimed at correcting vision problems by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. This procedure is designed to address refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, which affect how light is focused onto the retina and, consequently, how clearly one sees.

The term “keratomileusis” itself is derived from two Greek words: “kerato,” meaning cornea, and “mileusis,” meaning to shape. LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is the most well-known and widely performed type of keratomileusis today. It utilises a specific type of laser, known as an excimer laser, for the reshaping process. This advanced form of keratomileusis has gained popularity due to its effectiveness, rapid recovery times, and the significant improvement in vision it can provide for suitable candidates. 

Types of Keratomileusis

Keratomileusis has evolved over the years, branching into various types that cater to different vision correction needs. Each type offers a unique approach to reshaping the cornea, allowing for personalised treatment plans. Let’s explore the main types of keratomileusis that have illuminated the path to clearer vision for many.

  • LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)

LASIK is the superstar of the keratomileusis family, renowned for its efficiency and effectiveness. It involves creating a thin flap in the cornea, then using an excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The flap is then laid back in place, acting as a natural bandage. It’s the go-to for correcting myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism with a quick recovery time. 

  • PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) .

Before there was LASIK, there was PRK, the pioneer of laser eye surgery. PRK also uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea but differs in that it removes the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium), which naturally regenerates over time. It’s an excellent option for people with thinner corneas or those engaged in contact sports, where a corneal flap might pose a risk.

To know in detail on What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK Surgery)? Tap here

  • LASEK (Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis)

LASEK is a hybrid between LASIK and PRK, designed to offer the best of both worlds. It involves creating an ultra-thin flap in the epithelium and then reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser. It’s particularly suited for patients with thin corneas who might not be ideal candidates for LASIK.

  • Epi-LASIK

Epi-LASIK is another variation that combines elements of LASIK and LASEK. In Epi-LASIK, a specialised tool is used to separate the epithelium from the underlying cornea, allowing for laser reshaping. This method is beneficial for those with thin corneas, offering a safer alternative with comparable outcomes to LASIK.

  • SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)

The newest addition to the keratomileusis family, SMILE, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a femtosecond laser to create a small, lens-shaped bit of tissue within the cornea. This tissue is then removed through a tiny incision, reshaping the cornea and correcting vision.

  • SILK

SILK is next-gen laser vision correction procedure that creates a thin lenticule (disc-shaped) of tissue below the cornea’s surface later removed through an incision less than 2mm. This results in flattening of your cornea thus reducing or eliminating nearsightedness with and without astigmatism.

Keratomileusis procedure

A generic keratomileusis surgery, at its core, is a transformative journey through precision, technology, and personalised care, aimed at reshaping the cornea to correct vision. The adventure begins with a thorough eye examination to map the landscape of your eyes. This preparatory step involves measuring your cornea’s thickness, curvature, and other critical parameters. The rest of the procedure is as follows:

  • Anaesthesia: Application of numbing eye drops to ensure comfort.
  • Flap Creation: A thin flap is made in the cornea, either with a special blade or a femtosecond laser for precision.
  • Reshaping the Cornea: A laser precisely sculpts the cornea to correct vision by adjusting how light focuses on the retina.
  • Finishing Touches: The corneal flap is repositioned back in place, where it heals naturally without the need for stitches.

Know the detailed PRK Procedure here.

Advantages of keratomileusis surgery

Keratomileusis surgery offers several compelling advantages for those seeking to correct their vision. These benefits have made it one of the most sought-after procedures for dealing with refractive errors. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Patients often return to their normal activities within just a day or two after the procedure.
  • Many individuals achieve 20/20 vision or better, significantly reducing or eliminating their need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • The procedure is virtually pain-free, thanks to the use of numbing eye drops.
  • The vision improvements from the surgery are permanent, offering years of stable vision without further correction.
  • It frees individuals from the daily hassles of glasses or contacts, leading to increased confidence and convenience in their daily lives.
  • The surgery is highly customizable, tailored to each individual’s unique vision needs with precision, using advanced imaging technology.
  • With a low complication rate, the procedure is recognized for its safety and effectiveness in vision correction.

 You can also read about PRK Vs LASIK

Risks and potential complications of keratomileusis

While keratomileusis surgery is widely regarded for its safety and effectiveness, like any surgical procedure, it comes with potential risks and complications. Here are some of the risks and potential complications associated with keratomileusis:

  • Dry eyes
  • Undercorrections or overcorrections
  • Visual disturbances such as glare, halos, and double vision
  • Flap complications
  • Regression of vision
  • Infection
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Rarely, loss of vision

Common eligibility criteria for Keratomileusis

When considering keratomileusis, or LASIK, there are several common eligibility criteria that doctors look for to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the procedure for each patient. 

  • At least 18 years old
  • Stable vision for at least one year
  • Adequate corneal thickness
  • No existing eye diseases (e.g., glaucoma, cataracts)
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • No history of corneal infections
  • Good overall health
  • Realistic expectations about the outcomes
  • Not suffering from severe dry eye syndrome
  • Within certain ranges of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism

The Takeaway

Keratomileusis surgery represents a transformative option for those seeking to correct their vision. With its high success rate, quick recovery, and the promise of potentially ditching corrective eyewear, it’s no wonder that this form of keratomileusis has become a popular choice for laser vision correction. However, it’s essential to undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you’re an ideal candidate and to fully understand the benefits and risks involved. With the right preparation and care, LASIK can provide a significant improvement in quality of life for many individuals.


  • How does keratomileusis differ from other vision correction procedures?

Keratomileusis, specifically LASIK, uniquely reshapes the cornea using a laser, differing from procedures like PRK, which removes the outer layer, or lens implant surgeries that add lenses without altering corneal shape.

  • What is the recovery time after keratomileusis?

Most patients experience rapid improvement within 24 hours, with a return to normal activities typically within a couple of days.

  • How long does the improvement in vision typically last after keratomileusis?

The vision correction from keratomileusis is permanent; however, some may experience minor changes over decades due to natural ageing.

  • What is the cost of keratomileusis?

The average cost of keratomileusis surgery in India ranges from INR 20,000 to INR 45,000 per eye, with advanced procedures costing up to INR 150,000 per eye.

  • What pre-operative and post-operative care is required for keratomileusis?

Pre-operatively, patients may need to stop wearing contacts and undergo a thorough eye exam. Post-operatively, follow-up visits are necessary to monitor healing, along with using prescribed eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation.

Also read about Post PRK Care and Precautions

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