Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty
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Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty, also known as ALK, is a laser vision correction procedure that uses the device called the microkeratome to separate a thin layer away from the cornea to create a flap. Prior to this flap creation, the eye is anesthetized, and a ring is fixed to keep the eye open. The flap is retracted to reveal the corneal stroma. How thick and/or large the flap is depends on the degree of error within the topgraphical design of the eye. Typicaly, ALK is best suited for -5.0 to -30.00 diopters of nearsightedness. As with the conventional LASIK procedure, patients of the automated lamellar keratoplasty can expect to see immediate results (no pun intended!), although full vision potential is typically not realized for several months. Moreover, the entire healing process from ASLK only takes about 24 hours. This rapid recovery is highly appealing to both patients and surgeons.
There may be several reasons that ALK seems to be the lesser-known cousin of the increasingly popular LASIK procedure. First, while this surgery is considered effective in myopia and hyperopia, it is widely considered less reliable than other surgeries to correct vision. Second, the constantly updating, technologically increasing LASIK now has a plethora of more personalized, highly customized proceduresz that are more appealing to the LASIK patient as an individual. At this time, ALK doesn't have the same level of personalized precision.