is a No-Flap Procedure Used Mostly For Thin Corneas
LASEK, otherwise known as Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis,
is a surgical corrective eye procedure technique that was created
in order to address issues that arose with other types of eye
surgeries. Though some risks are involved, there are a number
of additional benefits that are associated with LASEK procedures.
In addition, patients that are unable to undergo LASIK eye procedures
may instead qualify for LASEK.
The LASEK procedure can be used to correct vision
in those who cannot undergo LASIK type surgeries because they
have thin or flat corneas. During the LASEK procedure the top
layer of cells located on top of the cornea, known as the epithelial
layer, is removed using a trephine blade; the trephine blade allows
a much finer cut than blades used in other types of eye surgeries.
Once the initial cut on the epithelial layer is complete, the
surgeon will cover the eye with a diluted alcohol solution for
approximately 30 seconds; the alcohol solution loosens the epithelial
layer allowing the surgeon to take a small instrument shaped like
a hoe to raise the edge of the epithelial flap and fold it out
of the way. The next process uses the excimer laser procedure
used in LASIK and PRK surgeries to shape the corneal tissue and
correct vision. Once the cornea is shaped, the epithelial layer
is placed back on the eye and allowed to heal.
LASEK is also known as a no-flap procedure. This
term can be confusing because the ‘flap’ of epithelial
cells is folded back; however the term ‘no-flap procedure’
refers to the fact that there is no permanent flap created in
the deep corneal layers as with LASIK surgery. LASEK is also sometimes
confused with PRK eye surgery. During PRK surgery the same procedures
are followed as in LASEK, but the epithelial layer is not replaced
and the eye slowly grows a new one over time. Sometimes a LASEK
procedure becomes a PRK procedure when the surgeon cannot save
the epithelial layer that was removed.
While LASEK procedures are beneficial to people
who are unable to have LASIK type surgeries, there are additional
benefits as well. The finer cut of LASEK heals quicker than with
other procedures; a faster healing time results in a quick recovery
time. If you have been denied as a candidate for LASIK surgery,
talk with your eye doctor about the possibility of undergoing
LASEK surgery to correct your vision.