Narrator: This is Science Today. The latest in laser eye surgery for the nearsighted is the LASIK procedure. Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of UCLA says although LASIK features the same excimer laser used in other treatments, it's a different technique.
Boxer Wachler: Instead of doing the laser treatment right on the very surface, we have another machine. It's a device called a flap maker and it actually creates a very thin, precise flap in the top of the cornea leaving a hinge. And we lift that flap of skin up, exposing the inner part of the cornea, the laser pulses comes down just like it would in the surface treatment reshaping the cornea. The difference is that we put the flap back - it doesn't have to grow back like with the surface PRK treatment.
Narrator: Flaps on the eye may not sound too appealing, but Boxer Wachler - a former LASIK patient himself - says it's quick with very little pain afterwards.
Boxer Wachler: For a couple hours, it feels like there's an old contact lens in and then that feeling goes away. So it's almost a painless procedure and another advantage is that the vision comes back very quickly.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.