The LASEK Procedure: How It Works
LASEK uses no blades or knives; it is an all-laser technique. LASEK is a much gentler procedure than LASIK. LASEK corrects visions by reshaping the cornea, which is the front of the eye. The laser removes a very small amount of tissue, often less than 1/20th the diameter of a human hair. This is done with extreme precision, resulting in reforming the eye to see clearer. The laser is invisible, so the patient cannot even see the laser while the procedure is being done. There is absolutely no pain or discomfort during the procedure either.
Most patients choose to go to work or school right after the procedure is done. Others take the day off to go home or rest. There are no physical restrictions following LASEK except patients cannot go swimming for four days. You may feel eye irritation during the first day or two. The time it takes to recover vision is often a little longer, from four to seven days. By the time the first eye is healed and seeing well, the second eye is ready to be done. This can vary from one person to the next. Clearly, LASEK is a much safer procedure than LASIK and gives equally good, if not better, results in visual acuity. Our surgeons have helped to perfect the procedure and have taught the procedure to physicians from all over the world.
The procedures are performed on an outpatient basis at the world famous Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and are done with the latest computer-assisted laser technology available.
Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Eye Surgery
Can I be a candidate for laser refractive surgery?
Most people with myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia are treatable by our physicians here at Laservision Eye Center. During the assessments, we will determine if you have sufficient corneal thickness and a healthy eye. The following conditions are contra-indications for Laser Surgery.
- • Lupus and other auto immune diseases
- • A history of herpes simplex of the cornea
- • Keratoconus
Which Laser Procedure will be best for me?
In our experience, LASEK provides the best results and is the safest way to correct your vision. The procedure involves no knifes, blades or flaps and is associated with a much lower incidence of any complications. If you are not a good candidate, we will not suggest the procedure for you. We are very selective about our patients and for that reason, get superior results.
Can both eyes be done the same day?
We choose to have the eyes done separately because of concerns about visual functioning while both eyes are recovering. In this case, we recommend that they be done one week apart to allow for complete recovery. In that way, no time needs to be taken off from work or school.
How much time will I need to take off work or school?
With LASEK as performed here at Laservision Eye Care Center, you should be able to return to work or school the same day if you wish. The treatment is done one eye at a time, with the second eye being done the following week. With LASEK, your eyes can feel scratchy for approximately 72 hours after surgery and your vision can be blurry for 3 to 5 days.
Why do I need to stop wearing contact lenses before surgery?
Because contact lenses can cause temporary changes in the shape of the cornea, they should be left out before the final pre-operative examination. Soft lenses should be left out for two weeks prior to taking pre-operative measurements. Hard (rigid gas permeable) lenses must be left out for at least four weeks prior to your initial assessment.
Does laser surgery hurt?
Topical anesthetic drops are placed into your eye prior to treatment to numb the surface of the eye, so no pain is experienced during the procedure. If there is any discomfort after the procedure, this can be treated with eye drops as well.
When can I swim and play sports after laser eye surgery?
You should avoid swimming for two weeks after the surgery to avoid any risk of infection. Exercise can be resumed immediately after the surgery. If you are involved in contact sports, you should discuss when these can be resumed with your eye surgeon.
Can I wear makeup after surgery?
To avoid foreign particles entering the eye that could cause infection, you cannot wear makeup for one week after Laser Refractive Surgery.
Is Laser Surgery Permanent?
The change in shape of the cornea following Laser Refractive Surgery is permanent. However Laser Surgery does not prevent age related changes in vision such as developing cataracts later in life.
Is LASEK covered under my employer’s health benefit plan?
We can check with your insurance company to find out if you are covered for all or part of the procedure. The cost of vision correction surgery can also be declared as a medical expense on your income tax return if you are not covered. Many companies will allow you to use your medical savings account to pay for your laser vision correction procedure.