The Different Types of Ophthalmology (Eye) Surgery

Nowadays, a wide range of different types of ophthalmology or eye surgeries is available to correct the vision-related disorders/problems. Although every type of ophthalmology surgery provides the best results with crystal-clear eyesight, the procedure of each one of them is different. In order to help you understand which type of eye surgery is right for you, here is an outline of some of the latest types of eye surgeries.

What is the meaning of ophthalmology eye surgery?

Ophthalmology eye surgery is also called ocular surgery – a surgery that is performed on the eye or its visual structures (eyelids, eyebrows, lacrimal apparatus). Eye surgery is usually performed by an ophthalmologist.

The eye is a very delicate organ of the body and due to this reason, it requires extensive care before, during and after the surgical procedure so that additional damage can be minimized or prevented. An eye surgeon is a person who has the responsibility to select the appropriate type of eye surgery for the patient and to take all the safety precautions that are required for that specific type of surgery.    

What are the different types of eye surgery?

Here are some of the most common types of eye surgeries:

  1. Laser eye surgery
  2. Cataract surgery
  3. Glaucoma surgery
  4. Refractive surgery
  5. Corneal surgery
  6. Vitreo-retinal surgery
  7. Eye muscle surgery
  8. Oculoplastic surgery
  9. Lacrimal apparatus surgery
  10. Eye removal

Laser eye surgery:

Laser eye surgery is a surgical procedure in which a laser is used to reshape the cornea or the eye’s surface in order to correct short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyper myopia), and astigmatism. The term laser eye surgery is commonly interchanged with the term refractive surgery but this is not the case. Ophthalmology laser surgery may also treat the non-refractive conditions of the eye, for example, to treat a retinal tear.

laser eye surgery

Cataract surgery:

When the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy and starts affecting the vision, it is removed and then replaced with an artificial lens or IOL during the Ophthalmology cataract surgery. The surgical procedure is performed to restore a clear vision.

The types of cataract surgery are classified according to the technique of surgically removing the cataract. These methods include:

  • Phacoemulsification
  • Laser-assisted cataract surgery
  • Extra-capsular cataract surgery
ophthalmology cataract surgery

Glaucoma surgery:

It occurs when different illnesses combine to affect the optic nerve resulting in the vision loss. The major cause of glaucoma is the raised intraocular pressure (IOP) inside the eye. Different surgical procedures including both the laser-assisted and traditional are used to lower the intraocular pressure.

Types of laser surgeries for glaucoma are:

  • Laser trabeculoplasty

It is further divided into two types: argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT).

  • Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI)
  • Cyclophotocoagulation

Types of traditional procedures for glaucoma are:

  • Trabeculectomy
  • Drainage implant surgery
  • Canaloplasty
  • Electrocautery
stages of glaucoma

Refractive surgery:

Refractive eye surgery is used to correct the refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia) in an eye to eliminate or decrease the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Types of refractive eye surgery include:

  • Keratomileusis
  • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (abbr. LASEK or Epi-LASIK)
  • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (abbr. LASIK)
  • Automated lamellar keratoplasty (abbr. ALK)
  • Conductive keratoplasty (abbr. CK)
  • Laser thermal keratoplasty (abbr. LTK)
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (abbr. PRK)
  • Limbal relaxing incisions (abbr. LRI)
  • Astigmatic keratotomy (abbr. AK)
  • Radial keratotomy (abbr. RK)
  • Hexagonal keratotomy (abbr. HK)
  • Epikeratophakia
  • Corneal ring segments or intracorneal rings (abbr. ICRs)
  • Anterior ciliary sclerotomy (abbr. ACS)
  • Presbyopia reversal
  • Implantable contact lenses
refractive surgery

Corneal surgery:

During corneal surgery, a cloudy or differently shaped cornea is removed either completely or partly and replaced with a healthy cornea of the donor.

Corneal surgery includes many of the types of refractive surgery along with the following types:

  • Corneal transplant surgery
  • Keratoprosthesis (abbr. KPro)
  • Penetrating keratoplasty (abbr. PK)
  • Phototherapeutic keratectomy (abbr. PTK)
  • Corneal tattooing
  • Pterygium excision
  • Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (abbr. OOKP)
  • Iris implant surgery to change eye color
corneal surgery

Vitreo-retinal surgery:

This type of eye surgery refers to any surgical procedure that helps to treat those eye problems that are related to the retina, macula or vitreous fluid. These eye problems mainly include retinal detachment, macular hole, and diseases associated with diabetic retinopathy.

Types of vitreo-retinal surgery include:

  • Vitrectomy

It further includes these types of procedures: Anterior vitrectomy and Pars plana vitrectomy (PPV).

  • Retinal detachment repair
  • Pan-retinal photocoagulation (PRP)

It further has these types of procedures: Ignipuncture, Scleral buckle, Laser photocoagulation, Pneumatic retinopexy, and Retinal cryopexy.

  • Macular hole repair
  • Partial lamellar sclerouvectomy
  • Partial lamellar sclerocyclochoroidectomy
  • Partial lamellar sclerochoroidectomy
  • Posterior sclerotomy
  • Radial optic neurotomy
  • Macular translocation surgery
vitrectomy for floaters

Eye muscle surgery:

This type of eye surgery is performed to strengthen, weaken or relocate any of the extra-ocular muscles that are located on the eye surface and help to move the eyeball in all the directions.

strabismus surgery

Oculoplastic surgery:

Oculoplastic surgery or oculoplastics refers to a wide range of surgical procedures that help to treat different irregularities or diseases associated with the eyelids, tear ducts or lacrimal glands, orbit (bony eye socket) and the surrounding face. It also includes reconstruction of an eye and the associated structures.  

Types of oculoplastic surgery include:

  • Eyelid surgery

It further includes Blepharoplasty (eyelift), Ptosis repair, Entropion repair, Canthal resection, Epicanthoplasty, and Tarsorrhaphy.

  • Orbital surgery

It further includes Orbital reconstruction/Ocular prosthetics (False Eyes) and Orbital decompression.

  • Other oculoplastic surgery procedures

It includes Botox injections, Endoscopic forehead, browlift, Browplasty, Facelift, Ultrapeel microdermabrasion, and Liposuction of the face and neck.

eyelid surgery

Lacrimal apparatus surgery:

Lacrimal apparatus contains a set of connected orbital structures that are responsible for tear production and drainage. Lacrimal apparatus contains these orbital structures: lacrimal gland, lacrimal canaliculi, lacrimal sac, and nasolacrimal duct.

Lacrimal apparatus surgery refers to the surgical procedures that help to treat any irregularity or problem associated with the lacrimal apparatus.

Following are the types of surgeries that involve the lacrimal apparatus:

  • Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) or dacryocystorhinotomy
  • Canaliculodacryocystostomy
  • Canaliculotomy
  • Dacryoadenectomy
  • Dacryocystectomy
  • Dacryocystostomy
  • Dacryocystotomy 
lacrimal apparatus

Eye removal:

There may be a variety of reasons that make the removal of an eye necessary. Irrespective of the underlying disease and whether the eye is seeing or not the decision for eye removal becomes very challenging and emotionally demanding for the patient. However, when the surgery is skillfully performed along with best prosthetic care, it leads to acceptable and satisfactory results.

Types of eye removal include:

  • Enucleation: Removal of the eye without the eye muscles and the orbital structures.
  • Evisceration: Removal of the contents of the eye, leaving the scleral shell unharmed.
  • Exenteration: Removal of the entire orbital structures, including the extra-ocular muscles, the eye, and the fat and connective tissues.
eye removal surgery


An ophthalmologist or eye surgeon is the person who recommends the patient to have a certain type of eye surgery depending on the type of eye problem and the candidacy of the individual patient.

Various factors have been considered while selecting the type of eye surgery such as the benefits, risks, recovery time, possible complications and the possible outcomes after the surgery as well as the experience, skills, and competency of the ophthalmologist also matters a lot.  

The patient should consult the best ophthalmologist, eye surgeon or eye surgical center ensure the best results. Menger Eye Centers is the best ophthalmology surgery center located in Glendale, NY offering the best ophthalmology care to the patients of all age groups. For more information, visit the website or call 718-386-1818 for any queries.

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