In LASEK surgery a hinged flap is created in the epithelial and in LASIK surgery a corneal flap is created. The former type of flap is much thinner. For a naturally thin cornea, the former treatment is recommended. For thinner corneal walls, LASIK has not been recommended. LASEK receives the recommendation instead given that this technique prevents flap-related complications. It also reduces the likelihood of using too much excimer laser to remove cornea and putting the structural integrity of the eye at risk.
The avoidance of a deeper flap becomes critical to preventing the condition of dry eyes. High degree myopia patients make ideal candidates for LASEK. This is because on their eyes more tissue has to be removed. The central cornea becomes corrected for refractive errors by removing lots of tissue. For people whose occupations might put them at risk of an eye injury if the corneal flap is dislodged, LASEK treatment becomes a safer option.
Be aware that LASEK does not give immediate results. There is some discomfort the patient experiences in the first week after surgery and the recovery time often progresses more slowly than with LASIK.
LASEK vs. PRK
LASEK and PRK have lots of similarities given that the techniques involve the lifting of the epithelium to access the corneal stroma. In both of these techniques no creation of thick corneal flaps exists. However, in the former technique, the epithelial tissue becomes preserved given that it remains attached to the eyes. But in the case of the latter, the epithelial tissue becomes completely removed. A new epithelial tissue naturally forms in a few days.
Many surgeons feel that preserving the epithelial tissue offers a safer approach than removing it. However, studies have proven that removing the epithelial tissue and allowing it to re-grow allows for a faster recovery time. Therefore, PRK still remains the popular choice amongst all surface ablation techniques.
Risks and complications in LASEK
LASEK has similar complications to LASIK and PRK. A qualified eye doctor at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center in Houston can give you more information on the pros and cons of each type of laser eye surgery. The follow are general side effects.
Blurry vision and halos
Overcorrection or under correction which may require further surgical intervention. There could be a need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Dry eyes are common in all types of treatment.
Eye infection or irritation may occur, but is generally rare.
The epithelial flap may not be firm enough to be covered over the treated area so it is removed in the case of PRK. Although there is no side effect to this, it could pose a problem for those with a high degree of myopia. In this case, patients may experience hazy vision until the section of the eye heals.
The alcohol utilized in LASEK could cause tissue damage to the epithelium. This slows the healing process after surgery. An alternative to this is the epi-LASIK procedure that uses no alcohol.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.