Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK), also called no-cut LASEK, is essentially LASIK without a flap. With the eye under a local anesthetic, the doctor applies a diluted alcohol solution to the epithelium (the surface layer of the cornea), loosening it from the stroma (the tissue beneath). The loosened epithelium is placed to one side and laser energy is applied to the stroma, using the same parameters to reshape the cornea as in LASIK surgery in Los Angeles. After the completion of the laser treatment, the epithelium is repositioned. A contact lens is placed on the cornea for several days to aid in healing and comfort. During the few days required for healing, the eyes can be sensitive to light and uncomfortable.
Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) is another method of surgically reshaping the cornea using the excimer laser. The primary difference between PRK and LASEK is that for PRK, the surface epithelium is removed entirely in the area of treatment, whereas in LASEK, the epithelium is pushed to the side after being loosened with alcohol and repositioned after laser treatment. In both procedures,healthy corneal cells grow over the treatment zone from the periphery of the cornea. A contact lens is applied after surgery to improve comfort.During the few days required for healing, the eyes can besensitive to light and uncomfortable.
Custom LASEK and Custom PRK allow the doctor to tailor the LASEK and PRK procedures to each individual eye and potentially improve upon the already excellent results available from the conventional procedures. These next generation techniques use wavefront technology to measure the entire eye and create a”three-dimensional”map. The map contains detailed optical information that is unique to each eye, much like a fingerprint is unique to each individual. The doctor uses this information to guide the laser in customizing the treatment to the eye’s unique visual irregularities.While traditional LASEK and PRK correct refractive errors known as lower order aberrations (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism) that affect how much we can see,Custom LASEK and PRK also have the potential to improve higher-order aberrations (coma, spherical aberration, and others) that affect how well we can see. Studies indicate that 5 to 10 percent of patients significantly benefit from Custom LASEK/PRK treatments while other patients may benefit to a lesser degree.
Key features of Custom LASEK/PRK
- Treats both lower- and higher-order aberrations.
- Ability to offer LASEK/PRK treatment to people with larger pupils.
- Ability to treat patients who have thin or steep corneas and are not good candidates for LASIK surgery.
- Reduced chance of night-vision disturbances, glare and halos for people at risk for higher-order aberrations.
- Longer healing period than LASIK (good vision is achieved in 5 to 7 days).