LASEK Eye Surgery

LASEK stands for LASer Epithelial Keratomilieusis and is very similar to PRK except for one thing: the outer layer of the cornea or epithelium is retained. It is one of the newer variations of PRK where the laser energy is applied directly to shape the outer surface of the eye in order to correct one’s vision. In order to understand how LASEK works, you will need to understand the differences from LASIK and PRK.

In a LASIK procedure, a thin flap is cut in the eye’s surface and then it is lifted. In order to reshape the eye, the laser energy shapes the cornea underneath. The flap is put back into place and acts as a natural bandage for the surgery. This will also speed up the healing process.

In a PRK procedure, instead of cutting a thin flap on the eye’s surface, the laser energy is directly applied on to the surface of the eye. The ultra thin outer layer is referred to as the epithelium. This layer is completely removed with the laser energy in a PRK procedure. The epithelium grows back in time.

In the LASEK procedure, the epithelial layer is preserved. It is lifted prior to the application of the laser energy. When the reshaping is complete, the epithelium is placed back on to the surface of the eye.

The primary difference between the LASIK and LASEK methods is that the LASIK method uses a microkeratome cutting tool or a special laser while in the LASEK method, a cutting tool called a trephine is used.

Who are the suitable candidates for LASEK eye surgery?

LASEK is an ideal procedure for people who have a cornea that is too thin or too steep. LASEK reduces the chances of complications that are associated with the flaps in the LASIK method. If the thickness of the flap is not ideal for LASIK then the LASEK method may be appropriate for you. LASEK creates thinner flaps as compared to the ones in the LASIK method.

Keep in mind that those who go through the LASEK procedure heal slower than those who go through the LASIK procedure. Moreover, the people who go through LASEK procedures usually have more complaints. Due to these results, doctors usually prefer performing PRK over LASEK.

What happens during a LASEK procedure?

During a LASEK procedure, local anaesthesia will be used. The epithelium will be cut using a fine blade called a trephine. The surgeon will fill the eye with diluted alcohol solution for half a minute which will make the epithelium looser. The flap will be folded back out of the way so that there will be room to operate on the corneal tissue beneath it. An excimer laser will be used like the ones for LASIK and PRK and then the epithelial flap is put back in place for better healing.

What happens after the LASEK procedure?

The recovery from LASEK is slower compared to recovery from LASIK. According to the doctors who perform LASEK, the flap will heal in a day but bandages over the eye are usually required for about four days in order to protect the eye from infection and foreign irritants. Recovery from the LASEK procedure is slower but it is less prone to infections and complications especially dry eye. You may feel some irritation in your eye for the first forty eight hours with LASEK. It will take longer for your vision to return to normal if the LASEK procedure is performed on you as compared to the LASIK procedure. It may take about a week for your vision to completely recover. The LASEK procedure is also generally more painful than the LASIK procedure.

LASEK Surgery Guide:



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