LASEK in Baltimore, Maryland

patient with eye doctor

For the last few decades, laser vision correction has been transforming the way in which we see the world around us. Patients who were previously reliant on prescription eyewear to be able to view objects clearly and function properly day to day had an alternative option that meant that they no longer needed the expense or inconvenience of glasses or contact lenses. Since its inception, laser vision correction has continued to evolve and now, there are a number of different types available. LASEK, not to be confused with LASIK, is one variety that is increasing in popularity and can successfully be used to improve the eyesight of patients with refractive eye errors such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism.

What is LASEK?

LASEK, also known as laser epithelial keratomileusis, combines the benefits of the two most commonly requested forms of laser vision correction - PRK and LASIK. It resembles PRK in that the laser targets an area of the cornea known as the Bowman’s layer, but unlike PRK, it does not involve the removal of the epithelium, which is the outermost layer of tissue covering the cornea.

What happens during a LASEK procedure?

LASEK procedures are fairly straightforward and the preparation for this type of laser vision correction surgery resembles that of any other eye surgery. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eyes so that you are not in any pain at any point of the treatment. The eyes themselves are held open using a speculum so that your eye doctor has uncompromised access with which to perform the correction.

A special instrument is used to make a cut into the epithelium which is then peeled back to expose the Bowman’s layer of the cornea which will be reshaped using the laser. The exact way in which the cornea will be reshaped will be determined using a detailed topography of your eye. The laser works by sending super-fast pulses of high-energy laser beams onto your cornea. The entire reshaping process can usually be done in under five minutes per eye. The rest of your appointment will be for pre-LASEK preparation and giving you advice and care after your eyes have been lasered.

After your cornea has been reshaped, the corneal flap will be replaced back over the cornea and a soft contact lens will be placed over the eye to protect it.

Recovery after LASEK

Recovery after LASEK is a fairly swift process. It normally takes between three and six days before your vision is restored, although it is not unusual for it to take up to a month for your vision to completely stabilize and to benefit from the full effect of your laser vision correction procedure.

What are the benefits of LASEK?

LASEK laser eye surgery combines key benefits from both LASIK and PRK procedures. These include:

- Results comparable to LASIK

- Suitable for patients with thin corneas (which makes them unsuitable for LASIK)

- Suitable for patients with large pupils (which makes them unsuitable for LASIK)

- No risk of flap-related complications

- Less risk of dry eye developing as a result of the laser vision correction

- Shorter healing time and less discomfort than is associated with PRK

- Fewer complications and less risk of failure

- Can be performed more than once if necessary

- The cornea is not weakened, making LASEK ideal for patients who work in positions or participate in activities that put them at high risk of trauma to the eye

Am I a good candidate for LASEK laser eye surgery?

LASEK has a very wide appeal to patients since it is suitable for people with a wide range of different refractive eye errors, including astigmatism. It is also ideal for patients who have very thin corneal tissue. Before you can be approved for laser vision correction, we will first need to assess your eye and general health to determine that you are a good candidate for the procedure. This will involve a confidential assessment at our offices.

If you would like more information about LASEK laser eye surgery, or if you are ready to schedule your confidential consultation, please get in touch with our experienced and reassuring eye care team.