Epi-Lasik & LASEK

Due to the development of new technology, medical science has improved a lot. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of surgery for the eyes. Though LASIK is the most popular, there are also other kinds of laser eye surgery. These are IntraLense, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), Astigmatic Keratotomy Incisions, Epi-LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery. Let us take a further look at Epi-LASIK and LASEK.

Epi-LASIK stands for Epithelial Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. It is usually used on a patient whose cornea is considered too thin for normal LASIK surgery. It can also be considered for those without enough tissue to create a flap. This particular type of surgery is suitable for those whose profession is in the line where eyes are subject to trauma like football players and boxers.

Epi-LASIK also has its advantages. First, it overcomes the limitation of LASIK in being able to cater to too thin corneas. Second, it is the choice of treatment for eyes with high powers. It is also very safe for flat and steep corneas.

In Epi-LASIK surgery, patients should expect the surgeon to cut a flap in the cornea with a blunt, plastic oscillating blade. Then an epithelial separator will be used to separate the sheet from the eye. When the epithelial flap is created, it will be lifted and folded out of the way. An excimer laser will then sculpt the underlying corneal tissue. After that, the epithelial flap will be placed back with a special type of spatula. The process ends with the surgeon putting a special contact lens to keep the flap in place.

LASEK stands for Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis. It is one of the newer variations of eye surgery. With this type, laser energy is applied directly to shaper the outer surface of the eye to correct the vision. Like Epi-LASIK, it is also suitable for patients with thin corneas.

LASEK offers many advantages to the patients. First, there is no risk of flap complications since no flap is cut. Second, corneal strength is maintained because the laser treatment involves the upper layers of the cornea only. Aside from that, corneal integrity is spared which will allow for safer enhancement.

During the process of LASEK laser eye surgery, a local anesthesia will be first applied to the eye. Then a hand-held surgical tool called trephine will be used to cut the epithelium. For 30 seconds, a dilute alcohol solution will be applied to the eyes then sponged off. The epithelium will then be lifted from the eye and folded back in places. As in PRK and Epi-LASIK, an excimer laser will reshape the cornea. A bandage contact lens will also be applied to keep the epithelium in place. It will be removed three or four days later.

There are a wide variety of choices to choose from nowadays especially in the field of laser eye surgery. For corneas that are too thin, the recommended surgeries are Epi-LASIK and LASEK eye surgery. Both surgical approaches have advantages and it is up to the doctor and patient to choose which of this method will be most suitable.

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