LASEK, which stands for laser epithelial keratomileusis, is a relatively new variation of laser surgery in which laser energy is applied directly to the eye’s outer surface for reshaping and vision correction. LASEK surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

There are differences in how LASIK, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASEK work:

  • A LASIK procedure involves cutting a thin flap into the eye’s surface and lifting it. A laser is then applied to the eye for reshaping and the flap is replaced.
  • A surgeon using PRK does not cut a thin flap into the eye’s surface, as with LASIK. Laser energy is instead applied directly to the eye’s surface. The ultra thin, outer layer of the eye is removed completely by the laser and eventually grows back.
  • During a LASEK procedure, a surgeon will preserve the thin epithelial layer by lifting it from the eye’s surface before laser energy is applied for reshaping. After the procedure, the epithelium is replaced on the eye’s surface.

How do I know if LASEK is right for me?

LASEK is mostly used for patients whose corneas are too thin or flat for regular LASIK surgery. LASEK surgery is also recommended for people who should not have a flap cut into their eye because of their occupation, for example, athletes or pilots. An eye examination and consultation with an eye doctor can determine if LASEK is right for you.

How does the LASEK procedure work?

During LASEK surgery, your surgeon will use a local anesthesia, eye drops, to numb your eye. Then he or she will cut the epithelium, the outer layer of the cornea, with a very fine blade. The surgeon will then cover your eye with a diluted alcohol solution for about 30 seconds, which loosens the edges of the epithelium.

After sponging the alcohol solution from your eye, the surgeon will lift the edge of the epithelial flap and fold it back out of the way. Using an excimer laser, which is also used in LASIK surgery, the surgeon will sculpt the corneal tissue underneath. Afterward, the flap is placed back on the eye.

What are the pros and cons of LASEK?

Recovery from LASEK surgery is generally slower than with a LASIK procedure. The surgery itself may be more painful, and you may feel slight irritation after the procedure. It may also take several days for your vision to recover, although this varies from one person to the next. However, because there is no flap created like with LASIK surgery, there is less risk of complications in that area.

Are you considering LASEK surgery?

Contact Eye Travel Turkey today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to determine what kind of laser surgery is best for you.