What is the Difference Between Lasik and Lasek?
LASIK and LASEK are both common and popular forms of refractive corrective eye surgery. While their objective is the same, the primary difference between LASIK and LASEK is whether a corneal flap is created during the reshaping process. Refractive eye surgeries have different techniques, but they are all designed to treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
During LASIK, a thick flap of corneal tissue is cut with a microkeratome blade and then a laser is used to reshape the cornea by cutting deep into the outer layer of the eyeball. During LASEK, the surgeon makes a fine, shallow cut to the epithelium layer, the top outer layer of the cornea. An alcohol solution is then applied to loosen the epithelial layer which will then be lifted and folded to one side. Next, the laser is applied to the middle layer of the cornea called the stroma. The epithelial layer is then folded back down on the newly shaped tissue. Ultimately, the thickness of your corneas will determine which treatment option is best for you. Thinner corneas or corneas with slightly abnormal shape can be treated safely with LASIK while those with the required corneal thickness can benefit from LASIK.
Aside from corneal thickness qualifications, recovery times vary between LASIK and LASEK. LASIK patients tend to be able to see full results within hours of the procedure while LASEK patients may not have clear, corrected vision for up to three 3 days later, as the epithelium requires healing time. Regardless of the procedural differences and lightly longer recovery time, both procedures achieve the same visual outcome.
If you are interested in corrective eye surgery, Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center invites you to come in for a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate and, if so, we which surgery option is right for you. Contact our office at 815-932-2020 or fill out a request form online at WEBSITE.