LASEK Laser Eye Surgery FAQ

Binghamton Eye Doctor Serving Elmira, Corning, Ithica, Syracuse, Courtland, & Oneonta, NY

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What is LASEK?

LASEK is an acronym for Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. Much like LASIK laser eye surgery, it is used to reshape the cornea, correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

How is LASEK different from LASIK?

LASEK laser eye surgery and LASIK laser eye surgery differ in the part of the eye that is removed in order to reshape the cornea. In LASIK laser eye surgery, a flap is made that cuts through the epithelium layer, and into the stroma part of the eye. In LASEK laser eye surgery, the epithelium layer is loosened and removed so that the cornea can be shaped, then it is replaced.

What can LASEK laser eye surgery correct?

It is used when a person's cornea is too thin or too steep to tolerate a regular LASIK treatment. It corrects the same three vision problems the LASIK corrects:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Astigmatism (blurry vision caused by an irregularly shaped cornea)

These are all caused by the shape of the cornea, and LASEK reshapes the cornea as does LASIK. But the first step in both LASIK and LASEK is to create a corneal flap, a thin piece of corneal surface tissue. It's folded back out of the way so the laser can work on the next level of eye tissue, the stroma. Then it's replaced.

When the cornea is extra thin, the eye doctor must be very careful not to cut that flap too thick.The LASEK procedure uses a weak alcohol solution to loosen the corneal tissue and also uses a finer blade than the traditional microkeratome. These two methods allow for a thinner flap, keeping the deeper level of eye tissue safe from injury.

How is LASEK laser eye surgery performed?

Before having LASEK eye surgery, you must first have an initial consultation with laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky. During your initial consultation, laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky will work with you to determine what correction you would like made and what results you would like to see. Then, Dr. Sambursky will give you an eye exam and test your eyes, by doing this he can determine if LASEK laser eye surgery is the best option for you.

On the day of the LASEK laser eye surgery procedure, you will need to arrive with someone who can drive you home. Laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky will then apply numbing eye drops so that you do not feel any discomfort during the procedure. Then, Laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky will apply a small amount of alcohol to your eyes in order to loosen the epithelium layer. A special tool is then used to peel back the ultra thin layer of cells, allowing laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky to use a laser to reshape your cornea and correct your vision.

Once the LASEK laser eye surgery procedure is complete, laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky will have you relax for a few hours before having someone drive you home. You may need to wear protective contacts for a few days following the procedure, to allow the epithelium layer to heal correctly. After a few days, you will be able to return to work and normal activities without the need for contact lenses or glasses.

What are the advantages of LASEK Laser Eye Surgery?

LASEK enlarges the pool of good candidates for refractive eye surgery. It can be done for people whose corneas are thinner than average or more steep than average. These people would previously have been rejected as good candidates and would have been left with glasses or contact lenses. By creating a thinner corneal flap as the first step in the vision correction procedure, LASEK keeps the procedure safe for this group. It makes sharp vision possible for more people.

Is LASEK more expensive?

No, LASEK eye surgeries cost about the same as other laser vision correction procedure

If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an initial consultation, contact laser eye doctor Daniel Sambursky at his New York eye clinic today.