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Understanding LASEK Laser Eye Surgery

Jan 18, 2008
The great thing about LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is that it combines the very best of LASIK and PRK eye surgery. This makes LASEK a very effective form of surgery.

LASIK uses a sharp blade for removing the top of the cornea whereas LASEK uses a diluted alcohol solution instead. This causes the epithelium's thin layer to loosen so that it can be moved to the side.

What are the Benefits of LASEK Laser Eye Surgery?

LASEK doesn't have the same risks associated with the corneal flap. With LASIK a knife is used for cutting a flap and sometimes it is cut too much causing the flap to come away completely. This can cause some serious vision problems.

When it comes to healing, LASEK is faster because no cutting is needed. The epithelial flap can also be used as a bandage of sorts when the procedure has finished. The risk of glare is also reduced after the operation compared to PRK.

Are there Any Risks or Disadvantages of LASEK?

As with all surgeries, there is an element of risk involved. However with LASEK these risks are greatly reduced. Some pain may be experienced but it's generally fairly minimal and can be dealt with by over-the-counter medication. No eye surgery can guarantee perfect results with no halos, dry eyes or glare.

The LASEK Procedure

Before the operation can take place, you will need to provide your surgeon with details of your medical history. You'll also have eye tests and other diagnostic procedures to make sure you are a good candidate for surgery. Just before surgery is conducted, your eyes will be cleaned and properly prepared with eye drops for numbing the eye. Your eyelids will then be held in place with a special tool to prevent you from blinking.

The alcohol solution is then applied and the epithelium is loosened and gently placed out of the way. Pre-defined beams of ultra violet light are then pulsed onto your cornea and after a short while the procedure is completed.

You will however probably experience blurry vision so you shouldn't drive yourself home afterwards. Also give yourself a day or so to completely recover from your operation.

The best results will be achieved by eye surgeons who are experienced with LASEK. Because your eyesight is so important don't simply go to the cheapest or nearest specialist to you. Ask around your friends to find out if there are any surgeons who have carried out surgery.
About the Author
April has written a number of articles on the topic of eye health including LASIK surgery and dry eye syndrome.
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