LASEK

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LASEK is an eye surgery that combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries.

Laser epithelial keratomileusis, or LASEK, combines benefits of the two most commonly performed procedures -- LASIK and PRK. LASEK eye surgery is used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.

LASEK surgery is said to have several advantages, including:

  • Complications associated with creating and reattaching the flap in the cornea is avoided.

  • LASEK eye surgery causes dry eye less frequently than LASIK eye surgery.

In LASEK eye surgery, various techniques are used to retain the very thin corneal surface layer of cells (epithelium) that is used to recover the cornea after the laser sculpting is performed. With LASIK, a thicker flap is created using a laser or mechanical device (microkeratome) under which the laser sculpting is done.

Procedure:

Numbing anesthetic drops are first applied to your eye. Then your surgeon makes a circular cut in the corneal epithelium using a fine blade (trephine). The trephine leaves a small arc-shaped area of the circle uncut, so the epithelial "flap" that's created remains attached to the eye. A diluted alcohol solution is placed over the eye for approximately 30 seconds, which loosens the edges of the epithelium and enables the surgeon to gently push the loosened flap of epithelium to the side.

Numbing anesthetic drops are first applied to your eye. Then your surgeon makes a circular cut in the corneal epithelium using a fine blade (trephine). The trephine leaves a small arc-shaped area of the circle uncut, so the epithelial "flap" that's created remains attached to the eye. A diluted alcohol solution is placed over the eye for approximately 30 seconds, which loosens the edges of the epithelium and enables the surgeon to gently push the loosened flap of epithelium to the side.

The excimer laser is then positioned over the eye to reshape the corneal stroma and correct your vision. After the laser treatment is completed, the epithelial flap is repositioned on the eye.

A special contact lens that acts as a protective bandage is then placed over your eye.

LASEK eye surgery is performed on a walk-in, walk-out basis, and should take about 15 minutes per eye. You are awake for the procedure and shouldn't feel any pain, but your surgeon may give you a mild sedative to help you relax.

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