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LASEK Eye Surgery

How Do I Prepare for LASEK Laser Eye Surgery?

Before your LASEK laser eye surgery you will meet with an eye surgeon or a coordinator who will discuss what you should expect during and after the laser eye surgery. During this session your medical history will be evaluated and your eyes will be tested. Likely tests include measuring corneal thickness, refraction, corneal mapping, eye pressure, and pupil dilation. Once you have gone through your evaluation your surgeon will answer any questions you may have. Afterwards, you can schedule an appointment for the procedure.

If you wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, you should not wear them for three weeks before your evaluation. Other types of contact lenses shouldn't be worn for at least three days prior to the evaluation. 

On the day of your LASEK laser eye surgery, eat a light meal before going to the doctor, and take all of your prescribed medications. Do not wear eye makeup or have any bulky accessories in your hair that will interfere with positioning your head under the laser. If you do not feel well that morning, call the doctor's office to determine whether the procedure needs to be postponed.

What Happens During LASEK Eye Surgery?

LASEK eye surgery is done under a topical anesthesia placed directly into the eye. During the procedure, the top layer of cells, or epithelium, is treated with alcohol for about 30 seconds and detached from the underlying tissue. It is then lifted or rolled back so that the eye doctor can access the cornea tissue. The newly exposed tissue is treated with the same laser used in LASIK eye surgery and PRK. Then the top layer of cells is replaced.

This is in contrast to LASIK eye surgery, in which a laser or cutting device makes a flap in the cornea. LASEK eye surgery differs from PRK by preserving the top layer of cells, rather than scraping them away and waiting for them to grow back. This is believed to facilitate healing of the cornea with less discomfort than PRK.

What Happens After LASEK Eye Surgery?

After LASEK eye surgery, expectations are similar to what can be expected after LASIK. The flap created by LASEK eye surgery heals in about four to seven days, and the patient usually wears a special contact lens that acts as a bandage for up to four days after surgery. Patients also may experience irritation in their eye during the first day or two after LASEK eye surgery.

For patients who undergo the LASIK procedure, good vision is usually attained in a few days. However, for LASEK eye surgery this may take as long as a week.

You will revisit the doctor for an evaluation the day after LASEK eye surgery, and commonly one week and three months after surgery.

WebMD Medical Reference

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