LASEK laser eye surgery

Quick GuideLASIK Eye Surgery: Better Vision with Laser Surgery

LASIK Eye Surgery: Better Vision with Laser Surgery

What Happens During LASEK Laser Eye Surgery?

LASEK laser eye surgery is done under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the top layer of cells, or epithelium, is treated with alcohol for about 30 seconds to detach it from the underlying tissue. It is then lifted or rolled back so that the eye doctor can access the cornea tissue. The newly exposed tissue is treated with the same laser used in LASIK laser eye surgery and PRK. Then the top layer of cells is replaced.

This is in contrast to LASIK laser eye surgery, in which a cutting device makes a flap in the cornea. LASEK laser eye surgery differs from PRK by preserving the top layer of cells, rather than scraping them away and waiting for them to grow back. This is believed to facilitate healing of the cornea with less discomfort than PRK.

What Happens After LASEK Laser Eye Surgery?

After LASEK laser eye surgery, expectations are similar to what can expected after LASIK. However, even though the flap created by LASEK laser eye surgery heals in about a day, patient usually wear a special contact lens that acts as a bandage for up to four days after surgery. Patients also may experience irritation in their eye during the first day or two after LASEK laser eye surgery For patients who undergo the LASIK procedure, good vision is usually attained in a few days. For LASEK laser eye surgery this may take as long as a week.

You will revisit the doctor for an evaluation the day after LASEK laser eye surgery, as well as one week and three months after surgery.

When to Call the Doctor

If you have any questions after your LASEK laser eye surgery or if you experience pain, a sudden decrease in vision, red eye(s), or discharge from your eye(s), contact your eye doctor immediately.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.

Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, WebMD, October 2004.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005

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