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PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These procedures are similar to LASIK but correct different parts of the cornea, leave no permanent corneal flap, and have slightly longer recovery periods. These procedures provide alternatives for patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK and may also be an option for patients with dry eyes or diseases of the corneal surface. A Kremer doctor can advise you which laser eye procedure is the best fit for your needs.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is a refractive surgery that reshapes the cornea with a laser so the light entering the eye is focused on the retina to produce clear images.
During PRK, the cornea’s outer layer (called the epithelial layer) is removed entirely to expose the area, whereas in LASIK, a thin, hinged flap is created in the cornea. For both PRK and LASIK, the excimer laser is used to sculpt the cornea and correct the refractive error.
The procedure time is usually about ten minutes per eye and typically results in 20/20 vision. Recovery time can vary from several days to several weeks.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is a variation of PRK. Rather than removing the entire epithelial layer of the cornea, this method involves lifting the epithelial layer using a surgical instrument called a trephine and preserving it while the excimer laser reshapes the exposed cornea. At the end of the procedure, the layer is replaced on the cornea.
The recovery time of LASEK is slower than PRK because the replaced epithelial layer takes longer to heal than the growth of a new epithelial layer in PRK.
Epi-LASIK is typically recommended to treat patients with thin corneas, but it can also be beneficial for those with steepened corneas or dry eye. It’s a procedure similar to LASIK, but instead of only using the laser beneath the flap of corneal tissue, it’s also applied to the surface of the eye.
Like LASIK, the procedure lasts only a few minutes and it’s just as precise. Some patients who aren’t eligible for LASIK may be eligible for Epi-LASIK instead.
Speak with a Kremer doctor to find out which procedure will be most beneficial for you and your specific refractive errors. Click here to set up a free consultation with one of the esteemed doctors at Kremer Eye Center today.