What’s the difference between LASIK and LASEK eye surgery?
They sound almost identical, so you could be forgiven for believing they’re the same thing, but LASIK and LASEK are two different types of treatment.
Although they both use lasers, cost about the same and deliver similar results, each type of surgery involves a slightly different procedure.
LASIK and LASEK are the most popular types of laser eye surgery, so it’s handy to know the difference, because you might need to choose between the two if you decide to go ahead with eye surgery.
How do LASIK and LASEK treatments work?
The main difference between LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery is the difference in how the eye is accessed during the procedure.
During LASIK surgery, a flap in your cornea is created which essentially means an outer layer is lifted away. Once the laser has been applied to the tissue underneath, this flap is replaced.
On the other hand, no flap is created with LASEK surgery. Instead, the surgeon simply loosens the top layer of the cornea and moves it aside. After the laser has finished, this outer layer (the epithelium) is carefully placed back and left to heal over time.
LASIK surgery carries more risk
LASIK surgery is generally thought to be riskier than LASEK, because most complications occur as a result of creating a flap in the cornea.
However, laser eye surgery risks remain low and most complications are easily treatable by your surgeon.
LASIK and LASEK recovery times differ
It generally takes much less time to recover from LASIK surgery compared to LASEK.
Most people can return to work within a couple of days after LASIK surgery, whereas it’s wise for LASEK surgery patients to have at least a week off following the procedure.
Should you have LASIK or LASEK laser eye surgery?
Whether you have LASIK or LASEK surgery entirely depends on your preference and circumstances. You should see a trained practitioner who will be able to assess your eyes and provide you with professional advice.