Types of surgery

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:48 pm
There are many different types of surgery that can involve the eyes. You may undergo surgery to repair or remove various parts of your eye, such the cornea, eyelids, retina, and lens. You may need surgery to remedy a disease, such as glaucoma (glah-KOE-muh).You may experience some trauma to your eye, such as an object in the eye or blow to the eye, and require surgery. Plastic surgery of the eye may be necessary following an injury or trauma, or you may wish to have it done as an elective for cosmetic reasons to reverse the effects of aging. Surgery is sometimes necessary to remove tumors, both external ones on the eyelid and internal ones, such as retinal cancers. Refractive surgery can be done to correct your visual prescription, including nearsightedness, astigmatism, and farsightedness. There are various procedures, and the technology is rapidly advancing. The most common procedures are PRK (P-R-K), photo-refractive keratectomy (ker-uh-TECH-tuh-mee; and LASIK (LAY-sick), which is laser-assisted, in-situ (in-SIGH-too) keratomileusis (ker-uh-toe-my-lee-OO-sis). Both procedures use a device known as an excimer (EX-ih-mer) laser to reshape the cornea. Whether or not surgery is the proper option for your visual or other eye problem is a decision you'll need to make with a qualified eye surgeon. Many eye surgeons specialize in surgeries to various parts of the eye, such as the retina, or in procedures such as cataract removal. Others are cosmetic ophthalmologists, also called oculoplastic (AWK-you-low- PLAS-tic) surgeons, specialists in plastic surgery of the eyes. A cosmetic ophthalmologist has extensive and specific training in the eye, the eyelids, and all areas around the eye, and performs only cosmetic eyelid work. Keep in mind that all eye surgeries-- even minor, cosmetic ones-- involve risks and possible complications, including a loss of vision, and there's always a recovery period.
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