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LASIK vs. LASEK

by Michele Boyer

If you are considering corrective eye surgery, a thorough screening by a qualified surgeon is a must. So, finding qualified surgeons means identifying those who have plenty of experience performing a variety of laser surgeries and who will provide you with statistics that are well within the standards and guidelines established by the FDA or the Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance (CRSQA). Find out what diagnostic testing they will do to determine your specific surgical needs and type of surgery that is best for you.

With so many choices of ways to improve your vision, deciding which method is best for you can be confusing. Two methods - LASIK and LASEK - have names that are often confused or thought to be the same procedure.

LASIK is a combination of PRK and ALK surface ablation procedures. Rather than remove the epithelium and stroma tissue, these layers are cut into flaps and laid back to expose the corneal tissue to be ablated.

LASEK (also a surface ablation procedure) is a variation of LASIK and PRK in which only the epithelium flaps are laid aside as in LASIK but only this layer is moved out of the way, as in PRK. If the epithelial cells are destroyed, this becomes a PRK procedure

Click here to view a chart that should help in understanding the differences between LASIK and LASEK.

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