Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK) is a procedure that corrects vision problems. It is a type of refractive surgery that changes the shape of the cornea to enable light to focus properly on the retina.
What is it?
LASEK eye surgery combines the benefits of the two other most popular corrective eye surgeries, LASIK and PRK. The surgery is used to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. Like other corrective surgeries, LASEK works by reshaping the cornea to focus better light entering the retina without the use of contacts or eyeglasses.
What should I do to prepare?
When preparing for LASEK laser eye surgery, it is important to meet with your doctor to discuss your medical history. If you usually wear gas-permeable contact lenses, you should not wear them for at least three weeks before the surgery. The day before the surgery, you should not wear eye makeup and should eat a light meal before seeing the doctor.
What happens during the process?
The outer layer of the cornea is extracted using a fine blade. The surgeon then covers the eye with an alcohol solution for several seconds, which loosens the edges of the epithelial layer and allows the flap to be pulled back. The surgeon will then use a laser to reshape the corneal tissue underneath, and when finished, will replace the epithelium. A bandage contact lens will be put in the eye to allow the incision to heal for several days.
What are the risks and potential complications?
There are a few risks and complications correlated with this procedure. These can include the sensation of having a foreign object in the eye, temporarily reduced vision under poorly lit conditions, dry eyes, and hazy or cloudy vision. Some of these complications can last anywhere from a few months to one year following the procedure.
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