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LASIK is not a good option for everybody. Since LASIK was first approved by the FDA, ophthalmologists have devised more ways to do it, and this has increased the pool of good candidates. On this page we will discuss how LASEK can be a benefit to people who cannot have traditional LASIK. LASEK stands for Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis. The procedure is done a little differently and at the Khanna Institute we proudly offer it to help patients with eye conditions that make them poor candidates for LASIK.
One of the factors that most often leads to complications after LASIK is the corneal flap which is made at the beginning of the LASIK procedure. This corneal flap is a way to remove surface cells and expose the next layer down, known as the stroma. The excimer laser can then be used to remove small pieces of stromal tissue and this reshapes the cornea. Then the flap is replaced. If the cornea is too thin, it will not be very safe to create the flap.
If the cornea is too flat, creating a flap in the center where treatment will be done will make it even flatter. The laser treatment for farsightedness removes tissue from the corneal edges to increase curvature. So again, this could remove too much tissue and may not be a safe procedure for a patient who has flat corneas.
If the cornea is too steep, which is severe nearsightedness or myopia, it may be difficult to create the flap safely. It is more difficult to cut the flap safely on a steep curvature than on a flatter curvature. LASIK uses an ophthalmological device known as a microkeratome to cut the flap. It is a type of oscillating blade. The flap might not be cut well enough or safely enough for a patient who has severe myopia.
In a LASEK procedure, we use a different instrument to make the outline of the flap, which is called a trephine. It is a finer blade than a microkeratome and is safer to use with a patient who has thin corneas or very steep corneas. After using the trephine, an alcohol solution is used to weaken the connections between cells. The alcohol solution is left on for approximately 30 seconds. Then we can gently lift the small area of the cornea which is loosened and it separates easily.
After your LASEK procedure, we will ask you to wear a bandage contact lens to protect the treated area while it heals in the recovery period. This might take between three and ten days, and that would depend on whether a larger or smaller area was treated. It might also depend on the patient’s individual healing rate.
At the Khanna Institute we are proud to offer LASEK as an excellent alternative. To determine which vision correction procedure is best for you, you would need to come in to the Khanna Institute for a consultation. Then Dr. Khanna would explain the issues and alternatives for you so you could make a decision. Please contact us if you would like a LASEK consultation.