Any procedure aimed at correcting the eye focusing ability is called refractive surgery. Laser eye surgery is a form of refractive surgery that uses a beam of ultraviolet light to reshape the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped layer that covers the front of the eye. By adjusting the curvature of the cornea, the eye focusing power is improved, ensuring a clearer and sharper vision. This surgery can correct myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism.
Refractive surgery is the most common elective surgery performed in the world. The most frequent procedure is the Femto-LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis), which is carried out on more than 95% of patients. During the surgery, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser or mechanical device called microkeratome to create a thin flap that is one-tenth of a millimetre-thick in the cornea. A laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. In the case of myopia, the tissue is flattened. For hyperopia, the surgeon corrects the curvature of the cornea, whereas for astigmatism, the tissue is reshaped. The surgeon then returned the flap to its original position