Not sure if LASIK or PRK is the laser vision correction option for you? Then LASEK may be your perfect solution. Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) is a modern form of laser vision correction that utilizes the principles used in both LASIK and PRK to correct vision errors.

LASEK Procedure

LASEK may be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism for unbelievable vision results. With LASEK, patients experience the benefit of improved vision with a slightly different technique than LASIK or PRK. During the LASEK procedure, a flap is created using a unique method. A fine blade called a trephine is used to make a pre-incision in the top layer of the cornea, and then a mild alcohol solution is applied to loosen the cells on the epithelium. Once the outer layer is gently lifted and folded, the laser light is targeted to reshape the cornea. The flap is replaced and a soft contact lens is temporarily placed to promote healing. There is a faster recovery time than PRK (but slower than with LASIK) with less discomfort during healing. Vision stability occurs in just a few days, a bit quicker than with PRK, but again a tad slower than with LASIK. All and all, LASEK is an effective means of vision improvement that falls somewhere between PRK and LASIK in terms of optimum comfort. Great visual results can be achieved with all three procedures.

Patients who choose LASEK or PRK are often candidates with higher degrees of myopia, larger pupils, or thin corneas.


Q. What are the advantages of LASEK

A. The state-of-the-art LASIK procedure allows patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism a chance at clear, natural vision by combining the techniques used in PRK and LASIK. With LASEK, there is less risk of dry eye than with LASIK, and the risk of corneal flap complications is eliminated.

Q. What are the disadvantages of LASEK?

A. LASEK typically includes a slightly longer healing period than LASIK, and vision results are not immediate. Patients may wait a week or more to recover clear vision. Also, there is a bit more discomfort associated with LASEK than the LASIK procedure, however, it lasts only an average of around 2-3 days. LASEK patients are required to wear a bandage contact lens for a few days following the procedure to protect the treated eye. Despite the minor disadvantages, LASEK is a procedure that is gaining popularity and a great alternative to non-LASIK candidates who are not completely comfortable with PRK.

Q. What side effects are possible with LASEK?

A. LASEK candidates should be aware that there are potential side effects, as with any eye procedure. Side effects may include foreign object sensation, dry eyes, hazy vision, or reduced vision in low light. The risk of complications includes infection, corneal scarring, post-operative haze, blurred vision, and others. Dr. Berg will go over the risks and benefits during your personal consultation.

Q. What restrictions will I face following LASEK surgery?

A. Your doctor will give you a timetable for when you can return to certain activities and resume sports or hobbies. It is vitally important to the integrity of your vision that you follow post-operative instructions carefully. You will need to be extra careful while the protective contact lens remains in your eye, usually only a few days. Try not to rub your eye or touch it in any way. You will need to take 5 – 7 days off work, or as recommended by your doctor. You should not drive until your vision is fully clear; this can vary by patient but is usually around a week. Patients are asked to refrain from swimming or hot tubing for a month and maybe restricted from contact sports for the same time period. Female patients are usually asked to not use eye makeup for about 2 weeks.

Q. Am I a good LASEK candidate?

A. Although there are certain general guidelines based on your refractive error and health history, there is no way to know if LASEK can help you without a thorough eye examination. Traditionally, LASEK has proven to be a better alternative for patients with extremely steep or thin, patients who engage in hard contact sports or activities, and patients who have moderate to severe dry eye syndrome. Schedule a free evaluation to find out if this procedure is right for you.

Q. How is my vision progress monitored?

A. Following your procedure, you will be asked to return the next day for a post-op check-up. Your doctor will also want to see you again one week after, and three months after your LASEK procedure.

Find out if LASEK is your best vision correction option. Visit the experienced eye care professionals at Berg·Feinfield Vision Correction in Los Angeles for your complimentary personalized vision consultation.