Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
LASEK is an acronym for Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis. It is an advanced form of PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy).
The reason we use the term LASEK instead of PRK is that PRK has continued to evolve with the aid of technological advancements in excimer lasers, wavefront diagnostics and custom treatments since it was first introduced in the 1980’s. Because the procedure evolved so much, the name evolved as well.
Dr. Vold may recommend LASEK over LASIK for patients with corneas that are too thin for LASIK or have ocular conditions that cause them to experience itchy and dry eyes. Some patients, like athletes and law enforcement personnel typically select LASEK since they could experience problems with a LASIK flap if they receive a blunt force trauma to the eye. Having LASEK also avoids the additional potential complications involved in the LASIK flap making process.
The margin of safety with LASEK may be greater than that with LASIK as the need for a microkeratome is eliminated, so there’s no risk of flap complications.
LASEK is for those who:
- want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts are over 18 years of age
- have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
- have no health issues affecting their eyes
What to expect on surgery day:
You will arrive at our surgery center at your appointment time. Once you have been checked-in and settled comfortably, you will be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape will be applied. You may be given a sedative to help you relax. Eye drops will be used to numb your eyes; no injections or needles are used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking.
The epithelium, a thin outer layer of clear, protective skin that covers the cornea is completely removed. You will then be asked to look directly at a target light while the excimer laser reshapes the surface of your cornea. The laser will be programmed with the information gathered in your pre-operative exam. The laser treatment will be completed in less than a minute, depending on the amount of correction needed. To finish the procedure, Dr. Vold will place a temporary bandage contact lens on your reduce post-operative discomfort and help with the regeneration of the epithelium tissue.
Following your procedure, your eye(s) may be shielded for protection. Your vision will probably be a little blurry at first, so someone will need to drive you home. You should relax for the rest of the day. You may experience mild to moderate discomfort for two or three days. You will be given instructions on how to manage this discomfort before you leave. Most patients resume normal activities within two to three days. Your vision could fluctuate in clarity for a few weeks with your final visual results settling over the course of the next few months.
Serious complications with LASEK are extremely rare, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Many of the risks and complications associated with this procedure can be reduced or eliminated through careful patient selection and thorough pre-operative testing using the latest diagnostic technology available at Vold Vision.
Let us answer the most common questions about Vold Vision LASEK on our FAQ’s page.
Interested in having LASEK?
If you are interested in having LASEK, you will need to schedule an examination to or attend a free screening at our LASIK after hours to determine if you are a candidate. If you qualify, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.
We offer a number of finance options and affordable payment plans. It is easy to apply online and receive credit approval before you schedule an appointment.