Serving Los Angeles, California and Surrounding Communities
Traditional LASIK eye surgery is an excellent vision correction option for a wide variety of people, but it may not be right for everyone. Thankfully, since LASIK was first approved by the FDA, ophthalmologists have devised more ways of performing this innovative procedure, increasing the pool of candidates.
LASEK is an alternative way of performing LASIK for people who do not qualify for the original procedure. LASEK stands for Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. It’s also called e-LASIK (epithelial LASIK). If you have been told that your corneas are too thin, too flat, or too steep for LASIK, you may be an excellent candidate for LASEK.
The Corneal Flap
The reason why some people may not qualify for LASIK is usually centered around problems with the corneal flap. This flap is created at the beginning of a traditional LASIK procedure, and involves removing surface cells to expose the next layer down: the stroma. The laser then removes small pieces of stromal tissue to reshape the cornea before the flap is replaced for healing.
In traditional LASIK, problems can occur if:
- The cornea is too thin - Our eyes are filled with fluid which exerts an outward pressure on the cornea. A too-thin cornea may start bulging forward after treatment, distorting vision and undoing the good work of your LASIK procedure.
- The cornea is too flat (severe hyperopia) – Removal of tissue will make it even flatter. The laser treatment for farsightedness removes tissue from the corneal edges to increase curvature. So again, the cornea may end up too thin to contain the eye’s internal pressure.
- If the cornea is too steep (severe myopia) – It is more difficult to create a corneal flap safely on a steep curvature than on a flatter curvature. The flap could be cut too deeply, or unevenly, or with a hole in the center, or only partially.
Flap creation in LASEK
To create a thin enough flap safely, a LASEK procedure does two key things:
- Dr. Khanna uses a different instrument, called a trephine, to cut the outline of the flap.
- Dr. Khanna then uses an alcohol solution to weaken the cell connections. The solution is left on for about 30 seconds, then your eye surgeon gently lifts the loosened flap tissue.
Afterwards, a bandage contact lens is used to protect the treated area while it heals. This takes between three and ten days, depending on how large an area was treated and your individual healing rate.
To find out if LASEK is right for you, please contact The Khanna Institute today to schedule a free LASEK screening. We serve patients throughout the Los Angeles area, with offices in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village, California.