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Epi-Lasek vs Lasik
Epi-lasik (LASEK) s a safer procedure than traditional LASIK. It gives similar vision results but has a better safety profile. Epilasik (LASEK) does not require the ophthalmologist to create a flap. If there is no corneal flap, possible complications from creating a flap are avoided. Epi-lasik (LASEK) has no vibrating blade, no deep corneal flap and no vacuum suction ring which differentiates it from LASIK.|
Epi-LASEK (LASEK) is a form of surface ablation where approximately 30 microns (much less than in traditional LASIK) of corneal thickness (epithelium) are moved aside and the resulting bed of cornea is treated with laser. Afterwords, the corneal epithelium is replaced.
Advantages of Epilasik (LASEK)
This typically provides you with better visual rehabilitation and less discomfort than the old form of surface ablation. A bandage contact lens is put over the eye in the operating room to allow the surface to heal quickly and to improve comfort. The contact lens is then removed from your eye after about a week. Epi-LASEK (LASEK) provides you with excellent results without the possible risk of deep corneal flap complications, and can be done over previous RK and LASIK, and if you have had previous cataract surgery.
LASEK is SAFER
Without the need to create a corneal flap, epiLASEK (LASEK) eliminates the chance of complications such as an incomplete flap, button-hold flap, or thin flap because there is no deep corneal flap incision made as there is in LASIK. In addition, there is a decreased risk of infection and no risk of inflammation or wrinkling under the flap. This can can cause problems and can sometimes be found after LASIK.
The cornea is left thicker and therefore stronger with less chance of late corneal irregularities and late ectasia (corneal bulge). Ectasia is a potentially very serious late complication of LASIK which can occur months or years later with often little predictability.
Afraid of LASIK? Dry Eye?
Epi-LASEK (LASEK) does not cut through the corneal nerves, therefore there is a decreased chance of dry eyes following surgery. This is especially helpful if you have current dry eye tendencies and if you have had problems wearing contact lenses. Epi-LASEK (LASEK) is especially great if you have a thin corneas or if you have other eye conditions and may not have been a candidate for traditional LASIK.
Although Epi-LASEK (LASEK) was developed over ten years ago, it is actually a form of surface ablation which has been done worldwide for over twenty years, with an established record of safety and stability. There have been recent breakthroughs in the medications used with this procedure that makes it the preferred refractive surgery our practice.
In a long term study, patients who underwent surface ablation were found to have good long-term stable results with less chance of late irregular astigmatism. Dr. Grandon has been involved in ongoing studies of Epi-LASEK (LASEK) algorithms (determining the amount of ablation to do for each individual case), which he presented at the International Refractive Society Meeting. He is also involved in ongoing studies of safety and efficacy for patients who have had previous Radial Keratotomy and subsequent Epi-LASEK.