LASIK vs. LASEK
Choosing between LASIK and LASEK
Some of our patients that have not heard about LASEK ask…
What’s the difference between LASEK and LASIK?
Dr. Goldberg has been performing laser vision correction for more than 20 years and performed LASIK for many years. Dr. Goldberg began offering LASEK to his patients after researching the more advanced procedure and noticing its positive feedback amongst his colleagues and their patients. After the large amount of success he saw his patients have with LASEK vs LASIK, he quickly focused on LASEK. What makes LASEK so unique? LASEK is the safest and most advanced form of laser vision correction available to date – because it is non-invasive.
What does being non-invasive mean? There is no cut made to the eye with either a blade (as in LASIK) or a cutting laser (as in IntraLase or i-Lasik). There is no flap cut into your eye with LASEK, immediately removing any potential flap complications. When complications arise with LASIK, more than 90% are directly related to the flap.
With LASEK, instead of cutting into the integrity of the cornea, Dr. Goldberg treats the surface of the cornea – there is no disruption of the cornea thus eliminating an unnecessary cut to the eye. This is the most advanced way to perform laser vision correction; LASEK is 100% non-cutting and 100% non-invasive – making it the safest laser vision correction available.
Some clinics offer laser cutting to cut into the flap giving the illusion that it is safer, there is still a flap being made, with LASEK there is no flap!
If you have been told that you are not a good candidate for LASIK, we would encourage you to come in and have a complimentary consultation. Many people are happy to find out that LASEK can treat higher prescriptions, thinner corneas and patients that have chronic dry eyes where Lasik can call short.
Many of LASIK’s complaints are avoidable with LASEK. Dry eyes are often a side effect of having the cornea cut – there is no cut made with LASEK. Night glare is another common complaint of LASIK – once again it is caused by the cornea being in 2 pieces forever, the flap never 100% heals – there is no cut with LASEK.
THE FOLLOWING LISTS SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PROCEDURES:
Complications: There are more risks with LASIK vs. LASEK as the vast majority of complications are associated with the creation and healing of the flap. There is of course no flap created during LASEK. Because there is no flap with LASEK, any complications are easily treatable by your surgeon.
Corneal thickness: If you have thin corneas LASIK may not be an option. LASEK can be performed on patients with thinner corneas, once again because there is no flap being made.
Dry eyes: When a cut is made to the cornea, most of the corneal nerves are cut and never grow back – the corneal nerves play a role in the feedback mechanism that keeps your eyes lubricated. Because of this it results in the possibility of being left with chronic dry eyes.
Larger Pupils: LASEK is able to be performed on patients with larger pupils because there is no flap being cut.
Higher prescriptions: By not cutting a flap, Dr. Goldberg is saving 100–150 microns of cornea tissue–which is enough to safely treat another 10 diopters of prescription. One of the big differences between LASEK and LASIK is that LASIK is able to treat higher degrees of myopia.
Contact sports/Trauma/Active lifestyle: When it comes to LASIK vs. LASEK, LASEK is ideally suited for patients whose lifestyle predisposes them to possible trauma; police, firefighters, members of the armed forces or athletes. Additionally, if you are involved with contact sports you will be advised to have LASEK. As mentioned earlier, when a flap is made in the cornea it never 100% heals and can become dislodged.
Recovery: Although the initial recovery may be a couple of days longer than LASIK, LASEK patients report less postoperative discomfort. Following LASIK, most people experience only very mild discomfort (e.g. dryness, irritable, stinging) and most people can return to work and drive 24–48 hours following surgery. However following LASEK surgery it is normally advisable to have approximately 4–5 days off work.