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How to Choose Between LASIK and LASEK Surgery

How to Choose Between LASIK and LASEK Surgery

LASIK and LASEK are similarly named vision correction procedures performed with lasers, but each has key differences. While each provides similar outcomes, these distinctions may make one a better fit for your situation than the other. 

Ophthalmologist Randa Garrana, MD, of Advanced Lasik is one of the nation’s leading corneal and refractive surgeons. Discussing your vision correction procedure with Dr. Garrana is a smart move when you want the best match between your eyes, vision, and surgical approach. 

To start that conversation, we’ve prepared this brief primer of background information that will help you better understand what to consider when choosing between LASIK and LASEK vision correction surgeries. 

The key difference between LASIK and LASEK

First, let’s expand the acronyms: 

Next, let’s expand the definitions of the medical terms. Keratomileusis refers to the surgical reshaping of the cornea to correct a refractive error. The cornea bends about 70% of the light entering the eye, with the remainder being fine-focused by the eye’s interior lens. This shows the common outcome goals of LASIK and LASEK. 

The term in situ is Latin for “in place.” In LASIK surgery, a flap is cut into the surface of the cornea and pulled back before a laser reshapes the inner part of the cornea in the place where it normally sits. At the completion of the procedure, the flap is returned to its original position. 

Epithelial is a medical term referring to the outer layer of any body tissue. LASEK procedures do away with the flap completely, and reshape the cornea directly through its surface. 

LASIK vs. LASEK: The pros and cons of each

So far, it doesn’t look like there’s much difference between the two procedures, but each has its own advantages and drawbacks. 

LASIK pros and cons

Since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999, LASIK has had millions of successful surgeries. Among its most obvious benefits are: 

On the downside, LASIK carries a risk of complications because of the flap. While these complications are rare, they include detachment of the flap and corneal inflammation. 

LASEK pros and cons

Along with its other common elements, LASEK shares some of its benefits with LASIK, particularly in terms of the speed of the surgery. LASEK doesn’t have a risk of flap-related complications, of course. 

The big advantage of LASEK is that patients with very high corrective lens prescriptions or with thin corneas who aren’t good candidates for LASIK can safely benefit from LASEK. 

LASEK isn’t as comfortable as LASIK, though, so this added versatility comes at a cost. Recovery generally takes longer, and there’s a higher risk of stromal haze developing after your procedure. 

LASIK or LASEK: Which is right for you?

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of sharper eyesight? With two bicoastal offices located in the Midtown East section of New York City and Long Beach, California, Advanced Lasik is here for your advanced vision correction needs. Call or click online to schedule a LASIK eligibility evaluation with Dr. Garrana today.

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