Lasek surgery is a procedure that is highly similar to the more popular Lasik surgery for correcting Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, or Astigmatism. While Lasek surgery is highly similar, and even spelled almost the same as Lasik, it involves a few separate principles that set it apart from the more popular Lasik laser surgery procedure.
How Lasek Surgery Works
Lasek surgery starts by cutting only the outer layer of the cornea, known as the epithilium. After being separated, the eyes are rinsed with a diluted alcohol solution which serves to loosen the epithilium layer so that it can be folded away. After the epithilium is folded away, the eye tissue is sculpted and removed with a laser in the same way as it’s sculpted with with standard Lasik surgery. Through cutting and sculpting the corneal tissue, the mis-shaped cornea can be corrected and curved to fit a normal eyeball’s curvature, which can permanently improve or correct vision.
Recovery from Lasek Surgery typically takes 1-2 weeks, with some mild discomfort resulting from the alcohol solution which is used to loosen the epithilium. Most doctors will prescribe a specific bandage to protect the eye while it heals.
Differences Between Lasek and Lasik, and Drawbacks of Lasek
Lasek was largely developed as a way to correct vision with laser surgery for patients who aren’t viable candidates for standard Lasik surgery due to a thin cornea, or other issues that make Lasik surgery too risky to perform. Lasek surgery also offers a lower risk of long-term complications such as permanent dry-eye, or increased glare.
While Lasek may offer a slightly lower risk of long-term drawbacks, it also takes longer to heal from, is more irritating, and temporary dry-eye syndrome.
Cost of Lasek Surgery
Similar to Lasik surgery, Lasek surgery is an outpatient procedure that is rarely covered by insurance plans. Outpatient Lasek surgery typically costs from $2500 to $5000 depending on a wide variety of factors.