Epi-LASIK/”LASEK” combines the benefits of LASIK and PRK. It is used to correct the vision flaws myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Our Chicago laser eye surgery center, Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., offers LASEK to decrease or completely eliminate your need for contact lenses and eyeglasses. LASEK benefits patients who were not ideal candidates for LASIK because of thin corneas or large pupils. Like in LASIK, a laser is used to reshape the cornea of the eye. Below we discuss the Chicago LASEK benefits and risks.

During LASEK, our Chicago LASIK specialist skillfully treats the epithelial layer of the cornea with alcohol for about thirty seconds. This creates an epithelial flap that can be folded back out of the way. By using alcohol instead of creating a thicker corneal flap, some flap-related complications can be avoided altogether. Once the flap has been created, the corneal tissue is treated with an excimer laser in the same way as in traditional LASIK. Once completed, the epithelial flap is then placed back onto the surface of the cornea. Immediately following the LASEK procedure, patients are required to wear a special contact lens that acts as a bandage. This is worn up to four days after surgery.

Benefits of LASEK

The vast majority of patients who undergo LASEK achieve exceptional results without developing post-surgical complications. The results achieved through LASEK are comparable to those achieved through traditional LASIK. One of the biggest benefits of LASEK is that patients who are not candidates for LASIK because of thin corneas or large pupils are usually good candidates for LASEK. Patients with thin corneas or large pupils are more likely to experience flap-related complications after surgery. Through LASEK, flap-related complications are avoided. Another benefit of LASEK is that dry eye occurs less frequently than with traditional LASIK. Patients experience a shorter healing time and less pain, and achieve better results than with PRK. There are fewer complications and less risk of failure than with other laser eye surgeries. LASEK may also be performed more than once if necessary. Because the cornea is not weakened, LASEK may be ideal for athletes, fighter pilots, and other patients at a high risk for trauma or injury to the eye.

Risks of LASEK

Complications after LASEK surgery are rare. Patients may experience a feeling of a foreign object in their eye after LASEK. Patients undergoing LASEK may experience more pain during the recovery phase than those who undergo LASIK. Most patients will experience discomfort for only one to two days after surgery. Patients must wear a protective contact lens after LASEK which is not necessary following LASIK. One of the biggest risks associated with LASEK is a decreased ability to see under poorly lit conditions. Patients may experience this temporary side effect for up to a year after surgery. Dry eye, hazy vision, and cloudy vision are the most common risks associated with LASEK and usually disappear after six to nine months following surgery.

Contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd.

LASEK can be quite beneficial for patients who are not candidates for traditional LASIK. To learn more about the benefits and risks associated with LASEK, or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., today.

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