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Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis, or LASEK, is a procedure that is designed to correct corneal shape. During LASEK, the surgeon loosens the edges of the epithelial cells with alcohol. The top layer of the cornea is then lifted and the laser is applied to the cornea. After the laser corrects the cornea, the cell layer is repositioned and a soft contact lens is placed over the eye to help keep the cells in place while it heals. LASEK is used mostly for people with thin or flat corneas who are poor candidates for LASIK.

Advantages of LASEK

  • No flap is cut so there is no risk of flap complications.
  • Since the laser treatment involves the upper layers of the cornea, corneal strength is maintained.
  • Since only the upper layers of the cornea are treated, corneal integrity is spared allowing more opportunities for safer enhancements, if necessary.

LASEK is Well Suited For:

  • People who cannot have a cut flap, such as pilots, athletes, or those involved in other activities or occupations where eye contact is possible.
  • Patients with higher myopic values
  • Patients who have thin corneas who would otherwise not be good candidates for LASIK.
  • Patients with large pupils who would not be good candidates for LASIK.
  • Patients with dry eyes who do not want their corneal nerves severed.

LASEK results fluctuate for the first 3 to 5 day, depending on how well the patient is healing. On average most patients have visual acuity comparable to LASIK and better than PRK.


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