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Eye Health Center

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LASEK Eye Surgery

LASEK is an eye surgery that combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries.

Laser epithelial keratomileusis, or LASEK, combines benefits of the two most commonly performed procedures -- LASIK and PRK. LASEK eye surgery is used to treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.

What Are the Advantages of LASEK Eye Surgery?

LASEK surgery is said to have several advantages, including:

  • Complications associated with creating and reattaching the flap in the cornea are avoided.
  • LASEK eye surgery causes dry eye less frequently than LASIK eye surgery.

In LASEK eye surgery, various techniques are used to retain the very thin corneal surface layer of cells (epithelium) that is used to recover the cornea after the laser sculpting is performed. With LASIK, a thicker flap is created using a laser or mechanical device (microkeratome) under which the laser sculpting is done.

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What Are the Disadvantages of LASEK Eye Surgery?

Disadvantages of LASEK eye surgery include:

  • Longer visual recovery time compared to LASIK eye surgery. Many LASEK patients will not fully recover functional vision for at least one to two weeks while their eye heals, which is similar to the healing time experienced in PRK eye surgery. LASIK patients often have good vision by the day after surgery.
  • LASEK eye surgery usually causes more pain and discomfort than LASIK , but possibly less pain than PRK surgery.
  • Patients need to wear a "bandage contact lens" for about three or four days after LASEK eye surgery to serve as a protective layer between your blinking eyelids and the treated eye surface, which is not necessary after LASIK.
  • Patients must use topical steroid drops for several weeks longer than after LASIK eye surgery.

 

What Are the Possible Side Effects of LASEK Eye Surgery?

Side effects may include:

  • Sensation of having a foreign object in your eye (lasts anywhere from one to four days)
  • Temporarily reduced vision under poorly lit conditions (up to 12 months)
  • Dry eyes, requiring the use of moisturizing drops (up to six months)
  • Hazy or cloudy vision (should disappear within six to nine months)

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