Photo-refractive Keratectomy Epithelial Keratomileusis (PRKEK), also called Laser-Assisted sub-Epithelial Keratectomy (LASEK) is a variant of PRK. LASEK is used when the cornea is too flat or thin for LASIK. In the LASEK procedure, the epithelium is removed with alcohol and saved to be replaced after the laser application. After removal of the epithelium, the surgeon positions the laser beam over the eye, directing light pulses to achieve the desired correction. The epithelial layer is placed back into position in the LASEK procedure. You can expect to achieve the same great results as LASIK with only a few differences. With LASEK, a bandage contact lens is applied to help in the healing process and is usually kept in place for up to one week after the procedure. In some patients, this may provide more rapid healing than with PRK, although still usually slower than LASIK. The healing process is usually slower and the results take longer to achieve; usually up to one or two months. Most people experience discomfort following these procedures and a pain reliever is typically prescribed both in drop and pill form. The visual outcomes can be the same as with LASIK. Most patients return to work or normal daily activities within a few days.
The LASEK procedure is effective in treating low to moderate levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is often recommended as an alternative for those with thin corneas who are not candidates for standard LASIK, patients who have specific occupational requirements or patients with specific corneal conditions, such as, anterior basement membrane dystrophy in which there are loose corneal surface cells.
To achieve the best results possible, extensive testing and thorough measurements will be taken of your eye. This process is essential in providing the surgeon with enough information to accurately correct your vision. For these tests to be accurate, contact lens wearers must not wear their contact lenses for at least 2 weeks for soft lenses and 3 weeks for hard and gas permeable lenses. This ensures that your eye is in its most natural shape allowing for accurate measurements to be taken.
After a thorough evaluation of your eye, the physician will determine which technology will provide additional benefits. Patients are encouraged to study and explore their options carefully.
The success of any surgical procedure depends greatly on the skills and experience of the surgeon. A qualified surgeon should meet the following basic criteria: be board certified or made eligible by the American Board of Ophthalmology, have advance training in cornea and refractive surgery, possess the skills and experience a prominent ophthalmology practice can provide, have performed many LASIK and refractive surgical procedures and have the ability to help patients understand potential outcomes and complications. Taking the time to research the credentials and experience of the surgeon is important in achieving the best result.
At Minnesota Eye Consultants you can feel confident in your choice. The physicians and staff are passionate about their roles and are dedicated to improving quality of life by providing their patients with the best visual results possible.