What Is LASEK Eye Surgery?
Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) is an abbreviation for laser epithelial keratomileusis. It is a form of surgery used to cure astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, among other visual issues.
LASEK eye surgery combines the techniques of LASIK and PRK eye surgery. It’s frequently recommended for patients who aren’t candidates for LASIK surgery.
A surgeon will temporarily remove the surface layer of your cornea during the LASEK operation. They will then use a laser to improve your vision by changing the shape of your cornea.
How Does it Work?
Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism can all be corrected using LASEK eye surgery, which is a version of PRK. LASEK is a procedure that incorporates elements of both LASIK and PRK.
Although LASIK remains the most popular laser eye surgery, PRK or LASEK may be better solutions for patients who are not LASIK candidates and offer similar results.
LASEK, like other types of laser refractive surgery, uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, allowing light to be properly focused into the retina for clearer vision without the necessity of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The most significant distinction between LASIK, PRK, and LASEK is how the eye is prepared for the laser treatment:
- A microkeratome or a femtosecond laser surgical tool is used to produce a thin circular “flap” on the eye’s surface during LASIK. The surgeon next folds back the hinged flap to gain access to the stroma and uses an excimer laser to remodel the corneal tissue.
- The flap is then replaced in its original location, acting as a natural bandage to keep the eye pleasant while it recovers. The flap stays in place without the need for stitches, and it heals quickly.
- Instead of producing a corneal flap as in LASIK, the surgeon uses an alcohol solution, a “buffing” equipment, or a blunt surgical instrument to totally remove the cornea’s extremely thin outer layer (epithelium, which is like a clear “skin layer” covering the cornea). An excimer laser is then used to remodel the underlying corneal stroma. Within five days, a new epithelial layer forms.
- LASEK is a hybrid surgery that incorporates elements of both LASIK and PRK. The corneal epithelium is detached from the underlying stromal layer, just like in PRK. Unlike PRK, however, the LASEK surgeon slides an ultra-thin “flap” of epithelium over to one side of the cornea, where it stays linked to the eye.
- The epithelial tissue is repositioned on the surface of the eye to cover the lasered stroma after the laser treatment, and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to maintain the epithelium in place while it heals.
While LASIK surgery improves eyesight in as little as 24 hours, LASEK eye surgery takes a little longer to recover from. You’ll notice something right away. However, it may take one to two weeks for your vision to fully recover. LASEK eye surgery is a safe and successful alternative to LASIK eye surgery, although it is often used only if you are not a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery because to the faster visual recovery and reduced discomfort.
When LASEK is the best vision correction surgery for your specific circumstances, an experienced eye specialist can advise you.
If you’d like to learn more about LASEK surgery and how it can help you, please contact our DLEI specialists immediately. The entire team is looking forward to talking more about these issues with you and assisting you in making the best possible decisions about your vision and eye health.