LASEK (Laser-ASsisted-Epithelial-Keratomileusis) surgery is an alternative laser treatment method.

Like LasIK, LasEK can be used to treat short-sightedness and long-sightedness, with or without astigmatism. With Lasek, the laser is applied much nearer the surface of the cornea. This creates a little more inflammation and so the recovery period is a little longer and some patients find the recovery more uncomfortable, but, it is the treatment of choice if your cornea is thin or you are involved in contact sports where the eye could potentially exposed to significant trauma. The long term visual outcome of both treatments is the same.

The procedure commences with your surgeon applying a small circular instrument to the anaesthetised surface of your eye which is filled with a solution that will gently loosen a very thin surface layer of your cornea.

This very thin surface layer is gently lifted and folded back.


This picture much the same as LasIK, the difference is that the flap created in LasEK is much much thinner and the laser is applied much closer to the surface of the eye
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The laser is then used to precisely reshape the cornea underneath.

 

The surface layer will then be repositioned and a temporary contact lens placed over it to allow the surface of the eye to heal.

 

 

 

 

 

LASEK eye surgery may be preferable for patients who have relatively thin corneas, play contact sports, or simply prefer not to undergo the slightly more involved LASIK procedure. It is also a slightly cheaper alternative.  The procedure takes a similar length of time, perhaps 20 to 30 minutes from start to finish, with the actual laser only firing for a small fraction of this time. LASEK has a more uncomfortable recovery and the visual recovery is also slower. You should certainly plan to be off work for a few days afterwards and perhaps it is a good idea to pencil in a few extra days off work just in case they are needed. Follow up appointments are similar to Lasik. The first post operative appointment is 2-5 days after surgery to assess the recovery of the surface layer and to remove the bandage contact lens. Then after about 14 days, then 1 - 3 months and then 6 months later. We tend to judge the success of our Lasek procedures at about three months post op but we will keep a check on your progress for 9 to 12 months and we will only discharge you once your outcome is stable.