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PRK laser eye surgery
LASIK laser eye surgery
LASEK laser eye surgery


LASEK eye laser surgery

Introduction to LASEK

Lasik was developed to overcome the gaps of the PRK laser surgery approach. Another method of surface ablation known as Laser Assisted Subepithelian Keratomileusis or "Lasek" has been developed. Lasek has been developed mainly to further improve on PRK, while combining both the methods of PRK and Lasik.

Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK) is the term used to define the method of using surgery to improve the refractive state of the cornea. This is done by lifting the front surface or epithylum of the eye by forming a thin hinged flap under which the shape of the cornea is changed by using an Excimer Laser.

The Excimer laser being used in this procedure produces a very intense, yet gentle beam of light of one wavelength. The excimer uses a mixture of gasses to produce a narrow beam of invisible ultraviolet light energy, which when focused through a lens system, results in the removal of a thin microscopic layer of tissue.

LASEK brings together the desirable features of LASIK and PRK. In this procedure, there is no microkeratome used to create a corneal flap. Instead a dilute solution of alcohol is applied to loosen and remove only the very surface of the epithelium. In this way, it is similar to PRK and can be used for patients who have thin corneas. Once the epithelial layer has been removed, an excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea, as in both LASIK and PRK. Upon completion of the excimer laser treatment, the epithelial layer is then returned to its original position.

LASEK is a fairly uncomplicated and inexpensive procedure. It has the relative advantage in that it avoids any of the potential complications encountered while making the flap and during the flap healing process.

When to opt for LASEK surgery

Those identified with thin corneas, athletes indulging in contact sports, military service personnel, those having lifestyles or professions predisposed to flap trauma, and people with low myopia would be ideal candidates for Lasek surgery. If the corneas are thinner than normal, or if there is mild-to-moderate dry eye instance, then Lasek with its surface-ablation procedure would be suitable.

Only after a thorough consultation, the eye surgeon will make recommendation as to whether lasik, Epi-lasik, PRK or Lasek will provide you with the best and safest results.

General procedural information on pre-operative and post-operative eye surgery

Before deciding to undergo surgery, patients should take the opportunity to discuss and fully understand the risks, benefits and complications in their particular set of circumstances, and who have a strong understanding of what their criteria for success are.
Choosing the method of Laser Vision Correction that is best suitable for one, can only be determined after a comprehensive eye examination. It is only after a thorough examination and consultation, can a specific recommendation be given, which would be the safest and most effective solution to one’s focusing problem.

Post Operative Care after LASEK

The success of any surgery depends largely on the post-operative care you receive. You must meticulously follow the post operative regimen laid down by the surgeon, which is generally a combination of antibiotic ointments for local application and eye-drops simulating tears “Artificial Tears” (in case of dry eyes). In all cases, oral analgesics are prescribed but are to be taken only if the need arises. Usually a thin soft bandage contact lens has to be worn for several days to aid the healing and reduce discomfort. This should not be removed too early following the operation, as it would run the risk of tearing off the epithelial flap together with the contact lens.

Good functional vision is usually achieved within 7 days after treatment. For patients with thin corneas and sometimes for farsighted or hyperopic patients, LASEK may be recommended as the best treatment option.


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