What Are The Different Types Of Refractive Surgery?

< Back to All Posts

Key Takeaways

  • There are several different types of refractive surgery, including, but not limited to LASIK, Photoreactive Keratectomy (PRK), Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)  & CLE (Clear Lens Exchange), as well as LAL (Light Adjustable Lens). 
  • Each different type of refractive surgery accomplishes a different goal within the eye, but all exist to improve the vision of the patient. 
  • Dr. Nader Iskander and the team at San Antonio Eye Specialists are a leading provider of all kinds of refractive surgery in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.

Refractive error is the inability to focus images thereby causing blurry vision due to the shape of the eye and/or irregular corneal curvature.  Common refractive errors result from nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.  Refractive surgery is the art and science of surgically improving vision.  The goal is to get patients to see 20/20 or better, but a patient's best-corrected vision is dependent upon their baseline vision and the overall health of the eye.  Each patient will see differently.

The Different Types of Refractive Surgery


One of the best known and commonly performed refractive procedures that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism is LASIK (Laser-assisted in Situ Keratomileusis), by reshaping the corneal surface.  

Photoreactive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is another alternative refractive procedure to LASIK and is recommended for patients that have thinner or irregular corneas. Both LASIK and PRK are laser vision refractive surgeries utilizing lasers.

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) 

There are other refractive procedures that use intraocular lenses to correct refractive errors when LASIK and PRK are not viable options.  One of the procedures using lenses is ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is an excellent surgical option for patients with upper limit myopic prescriptions.

Other Kinds of Refractive Surgery

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)  or CLE (Clear Lens Exchange) is a refractive procedure for treating presbyopia. LAL (Light Adjustable Lens) is the only lens in which the power can be changed after surgery to fine-tune the prescription using a UV light source to lock in the desired prescription.

Laser-assisted cataract surgery is fast and precise.  Intraocular lenses are varied according to the desired visual result and lifestyle the patient wants to achieve. Multifocal lenses and toric lenses are specialized in reducing refractive errors.

For Refractive Surgery in San Antonio, Choose San Antonio Eye Specialists 

An extensive visual examination by an ophthalmologist will better determine the best refractive procedure for you if you are looking to reduce your refractive error and remove your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Contact San Antonio Eye Specialists and meet Dr. Iskander, our fellowship-trained refractive surgeon with over 20 surgical experiences.  For your eyes...don't compromise!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of refractive surgery?
There is a range of different refractive surgery options, including but not limited to Light Adjustable Lens (LAL), LASIK, Photoreactive Keratectomy (PRK), Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), and Clear Lens Exchange (CLE).