Are you ready to get rid of eyeglasses and contact lenses and see clearly with laser eye surgery? You have various options for treating nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. LASEK or Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis is a newer and less invasive procedure. Dr. George G . Khouri of Palm Beach Eye Center explains how LASEK blends LASIK and PRK surgical techniques.
What Is LASIK?
With LASIK, the surgeon creates a flap in the outer cornea using a femtosecond laser. After the flap is folded back, the next step involves using an excimer laser to reshape the corneal curvature. The surgeon then returns the corneal flap to its original position.
Patients often find their vision improves right away.
What Is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, laser eye surgery is an option for patients whose thin corneas make them unsuitable for LASIK. With this procedure, the epithelium, the thin outer layer of the cornea, is removed. The laser then reshapes the underlying corneal tissue. Within days, the epithelium should grow back.
LASIK and PRK are similar when it comes to results. The major difference is that the PRK patient must wait several days while the epithelium heals to experience vision improvement. With LASIK patients, visual recovery often happens faster.
What Is LASEK?
LASEK combines steps from PRK and LASIK. LASEK involves loosening a flap of the surface epithelial layer with a diluted alcohol solution. The layer is lifted before treatment of the underlying superficial layer with the excimer laser. As with LASIK, the flap is then returned to its original position. To promote healing of the epithelial layer, the surgeon places a protective contact lens over the cornea.
Advantages of LASEK include a lower risk of developing dry eye and none of the complications resulting from corneal flap creation and reattachment. Healing time is similar to that of PRK.
As with other laser eye surgery techniques, LASEK candidates must be at least 18 years old. LASEK is not suitable for patients with uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disorders. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait until they have given birth and/or weaned before undergoing LASEK.
LASEK is better suited for patients with thin corneas or very high prescriptions which would make them less suitable for LASIK.
If you are considering PRK, LASEK or LASIK surgery and want to know whether you are a candidate, contact Palm Beach Eye Center today and schedule a consultation. Those who are not LASEK candidates may find alternative surgeries that can better address their vision issues.