Blog > Is LASIK Different from LASEK – Or is it a Type-o?

Is LASIK Different from LASEK – Or is it a Type-o?

Posted by administration on October 4, 2013

Is LASIK Different from LASEK – Or is it a Type-o?

Most people know that LASIK is a type of vision correction procedure that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The acronym LASEK is not a typographical error; this is actually a slightly different vision correction procedure that can produce the same results as LASIK. Patients with corneas that are too thin or steep for LASIK can benefit from the LASEK procedure.

In both procedures, a surgeon uses excimer laser energy to reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error. The main difference between LASIK and LASEK is how the surgeon gets access to the inner section of the cornea.

In LASIK, the surgeon creates a corneal flap that is folded back to perform the refractive surgery and then replaced after the procedure. In LASEK, an extremely thin portion of the outer epithelial layer of the cornea is removed with a special tool called a trephine. The refractive surgery is performed and the epithelial layer is replaced.

LASEK Recovery

Recovery from LASEK is slightly longer than with LASIK. While most LASIK patients are able to see with improved vision almost immediately and can usually drive the day following their procedure, LASEK patients may require a week to recover and will have crisp vision within several weeks. Patients can also experience slightly more discomfort with LASEK.

LASEK Advantages

While there are recovery disadvantages, there are some advantages of LASEK. The procedure allows people who were previously not suitable for LASIK to have successful vision correction procedures. LASEK involves the modification of significantly less corneal tissue, lowers the risk of dry eye after surgery and eliminates corneal flap complications. People who play contact sports may also be better suited for LASEK, as corneal strength is not compromised.

Regardless of which procedure your doctor deems prudent for your eyes, most patients can achieve 20/20 or better vision after LASIK or LASEK.

Our doctors at Pacific Eye Specialists can determine if LASIK, LASEK or a different vision correction procedure will give you 20/20 vision. To schedule your free LASIK consultation, visit or call 415-921-7555.


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