What is LASEK?
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.
How is Lasek Procedure performed?
Lasek procedure is performed by removing an ultra thin layer of the cornea. Done by a chemical compound which disintegrates a thin layer of the cornea allowing the laser to be performed on top of the cornea. Dr. Khanna intact uses a specially formulated solution to weaken the cell connections. The solution is left on for about 30 seconds. Then the Lasek 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.
Indications for Lasek
- Thin Cornea
- Abnormal shaped cornea
- Suspicion of Keratoconus
- Contact sports- Boxing, Martial arts etc
- As an alternative to LASIK
- If you are scared of Lasik flap making process
- Fear of flap complications
- Out of town patients
Lasek vs LASIK
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.
The Corneal Flap in Lasik
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.
Advantage of LASEK flap
- The flap regenerates . Yes it comes back. So even if the flap falls off no problem. Infect some doctors discard the flap. They believe it speeds up the healing
Lasek and Superlasik are NOT same
Superlasik means superficial lasik. A special automated instrument is used to fashion an epithelial flap. This is called an epikeratome. There is no use of chemicals. The damage to cells is less. In essence superlasik is a more advanced and superior procedure.
Lasek can still be performed when superlasik is contraindicated. Situations like post radial keratotomy, after previous lasik eye surgery are some examples. Further if we need to avoid pressure on the base of retina, Lasek is the preferred choice.
Difference between PRK and Lasek
PRK uses a mechanical method to remove the top layer. It can be a spatula. Some surgeons prefer a electric brush. These methods are less accurate. They can also injure the stroma. The trauma from the mechanical rubbing can release mediators of inflammation, PRK therefore gives more pain. There is increased chances of corneal haze and scarring.
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.