Both surgeries use lasers to cut flaps in the cornea to correct its shape. LASEK (laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy) cuts only the outside surface of the cornea.
This avoids some of the flap problems that can come with the deeper cut made during LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis). But LASEK recovery is a bit longer, and there may be more pain after surgery.
Some doctors say LASEK is better. Others swear by LASIK.
"Both procedures seem safe, effective, and predictable," Azar says in a news release.
"We found that although there were some differences ... that favor the LASEK procedure, the differences were not clinically significant," Azar says.
The findings appear in the December issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.