Epi-LASIK surgery is a cross between LASIK and LASEK eye surgeries. It was designed to remove some of the complications associated with laser beam surgery. LASIK involved making a flap in the cornea with a sharp blade or laser beam.
Problems arose if the incision to made the flap too thick. LASEK surgery involves making an incision on the corneas outer layer and leaving it attached to the eye. The difference between these two surgeries and epi-LASIK is minor but still significant.
The surgeon uses a blunt, oscillating, plastic instrument instead of the finer metal blade used in LASIK and LASEK surgery. The surgeon does not use alcohol to aid in loosening the epithelial sheet; he uses the same blunt instrument.
This means that alcohol reactions in the eye can be avoided. This procedure is more suitable for those patients who have a low myopia. The cornea is less steep and the success rate is greater.
How Does It Work
Once the flap is made, it is carefully laid aside and a laser beam to sculpt the cornea tissue. Once the cornea has been reshaped, the flap is spread back over it and a contact lens is inserted to keep it in place. It will be a lens that is oxygen permeable. If the cornea doesnt receive enough oxygen the cells will die.
Epi-LASIK does involve some pain. You can control the pain with an over-the-counter pain medication.
The third day after the procedure was completed, the doctor will allow you to remove the contact lens. Ideal vision will not be obvious at once. Some patients will experience 20/20 vision almost immediately, for others it may take three to six months to have ideal vision. You have permission to drive about seven days after surgery.
It is important to follow instructions closely because the quality of vision you experience after the surgery could depend on those instructions. Your cornea will need to have time to heal and it will need the eye drops and other medications prescribed for you. It is also important to go to your follow-up appointments.
If you are considering LASIK surgery, your doctor may recommend epi-LASIK instead. If he or she does, ask them why. Some surgeons think it is a better choice for their patients who they consider not good candidates for LASIK.
This may include patients who do not have enough tissue for a good flap, or those individuals who have a profession or hobby that increases their risk of being hit in the eye. This could include sports enthusiasts, police officers, boxers, and soldiers.
Your eyesight is a precious gift. You will want all the available information on any form of eye surgery you and your doctor is thinking about. Be aware of any risks involved. Anytime you are making an incision, you run the risk of infection and inflammation.
Know what your options are and be sure you have total confidence in your surgeon. Research your surgeon before your surgery, listen to friends recommendations, and do your homework. Vision problems can be corrected, but do not trust your precious sight to a doctor you do not know.