Refractive surgery options, such as LASIK, are appealing to many people who have been wearing glasses or contact lenses for most of their lives.  It is important to remember that several options for refractive surgery exist, and different factors play a role in which option best suits you and your eyes.  For some people, the desired result can be achieved without undergoing surgery at all. Continue reading for a guide on traditional refractive surgeries, as well as an overview on some other corrective options.



LASIK is the best known and most common form of refractive surgery, and has been a popular corrective option since it was introduced in the 1990s.  Millions of people have undergone the surgery, and it has proven to be an effective and generally safe procedure. During LASIK, a high-tech femtosecond laser forms a thin flap on the cornea, or the front surface of the eye.  The deeper corneal tissue is then reshaped to correct for the individual’s prescription, and the flap is gently laid back down. In most cases, patients have clear vision in a matter of days. Like any surgery, LASIK carries some risks, such as flap displacement or infection.  There may also be some side effects like dry eye or increased glare. However, despite these minor risks, most people who undergo LASIK are happy with their resulting vision.

PRK is a refractive option similar to LASIK, and was actually used consistently prior to LASIK’s introduction.  PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, also reshapes the corneal tissue using a laser. However, in PRK, no flap is formed; instead, the outermost layer of the cornea is completely removed and allowed to grow back following surgery.  Because there is no flap created during surgery, PRK does not carry the same “flap-displacement” risks of LASIK. However, it does have a longer recovery time, and may come with more initial discomfort. Both PRK and LASIK have provided many people with clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.


Options Beyond Refractive Surgery

Laser surgeries for refractive correction are not the only option for those who want to avoid daily use of glasses or contacts.  For example, biocompatible implants known as Intacs can be permanently placed inside the cornea, and can be used to correct for refractive error.  Intacs are also a viable option for those suffering from keratoconus, a progressive corneal degeneration that drastically affects your prescription.  Other options can provide refractive correction without surgery, such as the Gentle Vision Shaping System. The Gentle Vision Shaping System, or GVSS, is a program that uses specially designed contact lenses that work as vision retainers overnight.  These contact lenses are worn nightly, work to gently reshape the front of the eye and correct refractive error, and then removed in the morning. Upon removal, the wearer is left with clear vision all day, and does not need to rely on contact lenses or glasses to see clearly each morning.

Innovative Vision Care is happy to offer the Gentle Vision Shaping System as a corrective option.  We can also help determine if refractive surgery is an option for you and your eyes.


Our eye doctors at Innovative Vision Care in Belton, Missouri excel in the management of refractive surgeries such as LASIK and PRK. We also provide a non-surgical option known as the Gentle Vision Shaping System.  If you or a family member are considering refractive surgery, call us at 816.331.9590 or request an appointment online today.

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COVID-19 Update

To Our Valued Patients:

We are excited to announce that we have re-opened for routine eye care. To make an appointment click here:  https://www.innovativevisioncare.com/make-an-appointment/

We are spacing out appointments during this time and modifying some of our procedures (visit https://www.innovativevisioncare.com/covid-19-info/ for full details).

In addition to social distancing within the office, we will check temperatures before entering the building and require mask wear while in the office, in accordance with CDC and MO Department of Health regulations.

Continue to stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to providing eye care for new and existing patients again.

The Innovative Vision Care team