How successful is LASEK?
LASEK is a modern form of eye surgery that combines many of the benefits of the most commonly performed vision correction procedures, PRK and LASIK. Laser epithelial keratomileusis, or LASEK, is used to treat hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism. The vast majority of patients who undergo LASEK laser eye surgery are happy with their post-surgery vision. However, as with any medical procedure, laser eye surgery has its risks and potential complications.
There are many advantages of LASEK laser eye surgery that can greatly affect the outcome of the procedure.
Complications that are associated with cutting and reattaching the flap in the cornea of the eye are avoided. This is because the excimer laser that is used during the procedure is one of the most precise instruments used in modern medicine. The excimer laser can be programmed to exactly match the refractive correction that the eye requires.
LASEK surgery also reduces the risk for frequent dry eye that occurs commonly in LASIK and other popular corrective vision surgeries.
In LASEK laser eye surgery, a microkeratome is not used to pull back the flap of tissue on the cornea of the eye, such as with traditional LASIK laser eye surgery. Instead, the outer layer of the cornea, known as the epithelium, is lifted with a fine blade called a trephine. The flap is then loosened with a solution of 20 percent alcohol.
After LASEK eye surgery, patients can expect similar recovery and results to that of LASIK surgery.
While the flap created in the cornea during the surgery only takes about a day to heal, the patient may need to wear special contact lenses that act as a protective bandage for up to 4 days post-procedure. For patients who undergo this laser eye surgery, improved vision is usually obtained within several days. Patients of LASEK are generally happy with the results and will typically achieve normal vision with a variance of +/-0.5 diopters. Glasses and contact lenses will no longer be needed.
Approximately 3% of patients who have LASEK eye surgery will require additional enhancement procedures.
The chance of needing eye enhancement after surgery will depend on your prescription in diopters. For example, if you are a -3.00, there is a 3% chance that you may require eye enhancement in the future. Enhancing LASEK is extremely simple and will not induce a striae, wrinkles, or astigmatism. Many patients who undergo LASEK laser eye surgery are able to obtain 20/20 vision in that eye or close to perfect vision.
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