You might be wondering, is LASEK actually LASIK, but with a spelling error? You will be forgiven for thinking this way, because that’s actually what we thought when we first saw this word many years ago.
Here’s more on this procedure.
What is LASEK?
LASEK Singapore – This procedure is a variation of PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), and is an eye surgery technique used to treat vision problems such as Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism. LASEK combines the methods of both LASIK and PRK.
Like in PRK, the epithelium of the cornea is separated from the underlying stromal layer in LASEK. But instead of completely removing and discarding the epithelial tissue, the surgeon pushes the ultra-thin epithelial “flap” to the side (which remains attached to the eye on one side, like the thicker corneal flap made in LASIK), exposing the corneal stroma for laser reshaping.
After the lasek procedure is finished, the epithelial tissue is repositioned on the surface of the eye to cover the stroma, and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to help it heal as it keeps the epithelium in place.
In short, LASIK = Flap, LASEK = NO flap.
What is the LASEK procedure?
To prepare for surgery procedure, your eyes will be cleaned and anaesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes. Once your eye(s) is totally numb, an eyelid holder will be used to hold your eyelids in place to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
The surgery itself proper will thus begin. First your eye surgeon will make a circular cut in the corneal epithelium using a fine blade (trephine). The trephine leaves a small arc-shaped area of the circle uncut, so the epithelial “flap” that is created as a result remains attached to the eye. A diluted alcohol solution is placed over the eye for approximately 30 seconds, which loosens the edges of the epithelium and enables the eye surgeon to gently push the loosened flap of epithelium to the side.
The excimer laser is then positioned over the eye to reshape the corneal stroma and correct your vision. After the laser treatment is completed, the epithelial flap is repositioned on the eye.
Once the laser has completed its work, a special contact lens that acts as a protective bandage is then placed over your eye to aid in healing.
Advantages of LASEK:
- No risk of cornea flap complications
- Reduced risk of compromising cornea thickness
- Suitable for patients with thin cornea
- Better treatment option for patients who are more prone to head and eye trauma like military personnel
- Less depth of laser treatment than LASIK
Disadvantages of LASEK
- Takes a longer time to heal than LASIK.
- Eye will take a longer period of time to stabilise.
- More eye discomfort and possibly pain as compared to LASIK.
- Initial visual recovery can take up to a week
LASEK Recovery time
LASEK Singapore – Generally, visual recovery after LASEK (and epi-LASIK) is slower than with PRK, and significantly slower than after LASIK. Initial visual recovery can take up to a week, (as compared to one to three days in a typical LASIK case) and final visual recovery can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Ultimately, choosing between LASEK and LASIK is a decision best made in consultation with your eye doctor who specializes in laser eye surgery. Whichever you choose, you will most probably be pleased with the results as these surgeries have good track record.
Most importantly, after any laser eye surgery, it is very important to follow your eye surgeon’s instructions and advice very clearly, because ultimately the quality of your final vision is dependent on how well your corneas heal. Remember to always use your eye drops and any medications your eye doctor prescribes after lasek singapore, and don’t miss your follow up appointment.
If you are planning on going for this procedure, do check out our Laser Eye Surgery Singapore Checklist to aid you in making your decision.