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.
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.
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.
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.