What Is LASEK?
Mr Glenn Carp – “LASEK is a procedure very similar to PRK whereby we apply an alcohol base to the surface of the eye. This loosens the epithelium, the mobile layer on the surface of the eye. We can then push that to one side exposing the more permanent stromal layer beneath, apply a shape change with the laser and then we replace the loosened epithelium back over the surface of the eye. This has been protected and held in place with a bandage contact lens allowing the epithelium from the periphery to replace the alcohol loosened epithelium over the following 7 to 14 days.”
LASEK Explained Further…
Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) is a relatively new procedure and similar to LASIK, except with LASEK a corneal flap cut is from the protective tissue layer over the eye (the epithelium) and not the cornea beneath. As this corneal flap is very thin, the surgeon must loosen it with an alcohol solution before they can lift it.
In all other aspects, LASEK is identical to LASIK and follows the same broad steps:
- The dimensions and properties of the untreated eye are measured using wavefront analysis and topographical mapping and through diagnostic instruments such as a Pachymeter or an Artemis Insight 100. From these measurements, the precise amount of LASEK correction is calculated.
- The epithelial corneal flap is cut, but not completely removed and remains anchored on one side – allowing it to be replaced in an identical position.
- The surgeon raises the corneal flap, and an excimer laser sculpts the bed of the cornea to match to the dimensions determined before LASEK surgery.
- The surgeon replaces the epithelial corneal flap. Within minutes, natural forces hold the flap in place, and the LASEK procedure is complete.