Laser sub-epithelial keratomileusis, or LASEK, is the latest in laser eyesight correction, which combines the best features of other laser surgery styles such as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).
Unlike LASIK, which involves the cutting of a flap in the cornea, in LASEK eye surgery only the top epithelial surface of the cornea is loosened. An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea, before the epithelial layer is replaced.
This article on LASEK eye surgery is written by Kathryn Senior, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.
Why choose LASEK eye surgery?
LASEK eye surgery is often chosen by patients with thin corneas, or by those who wish to avoid the infection risks associated with the corneal flap technique of LASIK.
However, it should be noted that the healing time can be longer, and you may not experience normal vision for three to five days. If you cannot afford so long off work, then LASEK eye surgery may not be the right choice for you.
How to choose a clinic
Often the best way to choose a clinic for a procedure like LASEK eye surgery is to ask for a recommendation from family and friends. However, since LASEK is such a new technique, you may not know anyone who has had the treatment. That said, many clinics that offer LASEK eye surgery also offer other treatments such as LASIK, so it may be possible to gather general opinions on the clinic, even if you can’t find out much about their performance on this specific treatment.
Similarly, clinics may not have as many direct testimonials as they might have for other, older treatments; however you should still ask to see all testimonials in order to get a general feel for the standards and service on offer.
Questions to ask your clinic
There are several questions you should ask to help you to decide which LASEK eye surgery clinic is right for you. These should cover both practical considerations, like experience, cost and specific questions about the treatment, as well as personal factors to put your mind at ease. Here are a few suggested questions:
Questions about the cost of LASEK eye surgery
- How much will my treatment cost? (beware of estimates or ‘from’ prices)
- What does this price include?
- Am I charged for aftercare or additional corrective treatment if required?
- What finance facilities are available?
Remember, the lowest price is not always the best deal, and you will generally get what you pay for. The best surgeons will naturally be the most expensive.
Questions about the LASEK eye surgery clinic
- How many LASEK eye surgery procedures have they done?
- What is their success rate?
- How many patients have needed further treatment?
- What aftercare is available? (They should offer 24-hour emergency care)
Questions about the LASEK eye surgery itself
- How long will the treatment take?
- Who will perform the treatment?
- Will you speak to your surgeon before the treatment?
- How long will it take to recover?
- What post-op treatment will be required?
- What are the potential complications?
In addition to the factual questions, you should not be afraid to ask any personal questions you may have. LASEK eye surgery is a very safe and straightforward treatment, but you will naturally worry a little. The more questions you can ask before hand, the more comfortable you will feel about your treatment.
Making your final decision
With LASEK eye surgery increasing in popularity all the time, you should have a good choice of clinics within your local area to choose from, so take your time. Research each clinic as thoroughly as possible online and by local reputation, and always make an appointment to see the clinic, and whenever possible your surgeon too. Ask all the questions above and any others you can think of – write them down if you think you might forget.
Last of all, trust your own judgment. As discussed above, you need to feel confident in your LASEK eye surgery clinic and your surgeon, and you need to be sure you are in safe hands.
Remember, you only have one pair of eyes, so it’s worth spending a little time to choose who you trust to operate on them.