LASEK, stands for laser epithelial keratomileusis, is a relatively new variation of PRK, a procedure in which laser energy is applied directly to the eye’s outer surface for reshaping and vision correction. With LASIK, a thin flap is cut into the eye’s surface and then lifted. Laser energy is then applied to the eye for reshaping and the flap is replaced to serve as a type of natural bandage for quick healing. With LASEK, the procedure involves preserving the extremely thin epithelial lawyer by lifting it from the eye’s surface before laser energy is applied for reshaping. After the LASEK procedure, the epithelium is replaced on the eye’s surface.


LASEK is used mostly in patients whose corneas are too thin or too steep for LASIK where it may be tough to create a thicker LASIK flap. LASEK was also developed to reduce the chance of complications that occur when the flap created during LASIK does not have the ideal thickness or diameter.

The Procedure
During LASEK, the surgeon usually uses local anesthesia. The surgeon then makes an incision in the epithelium, which is outer lawyer of the cornea with a fine blade known as trephine. Then, the surgeon covers the eye with a diluted alcohol solution for about 30 seconds loosening the edges of the epithelium. The surgeon then uses a tiny hoe to lift the edge of the epithelial flap and folds it back out of the way. Then, an excimer laser is used to shape the underlying corneal tissue. After that, the flap is placed back on the eye.

LASEK vision recovery is usually slower than recovery after LASIK. However, there are a few key differences. The flap edge heals in about a day although patients usually wear a bandage contact lens for about four days to protect the eye. Vision recovery after LASEK may be slower than for other procedures, but there is less risk of complications such as dry eye. During the first few days, the patient’s eyes may feel irritated. Also, with LASEK, it takes longer to recover good vision, usually four or even seven days. This varies from patient to patient. The pain experienced may also be more with LASEK compared to LASIK.

Proceed with Caution
If your doctor suggests LASEK when you are considering LASIK, ask why. Sometimes, surgeons consider LASEK a better option for patients who will not do well with LASIK. Also, recent studies have shown faster recovery with LASEK. It also may cause dry eye less frequently than LASIK. Bear in mind that according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the outcome of LASEK depends on the surgeon’s experience. So a good question to ask your LASEK surgeon is how many procedures he or she has performed and more importantly, how many have been successful.

If you or a loved one has suffered the side effects of a poorly done LASEK surgery, if you were not screened properly for pre-existing conditions prior to your LASEK surgery or if your surgeon botched your LASEK surgery, please contact the Law Office of Todd J. Krouner, P.C. by calling (914) 238-5800 or emailing to find out if you have a case. You could seek compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of vision, poor-quality vision, loss of life’s enjoyment, loss of income and other related medical expenses. If you would like to contact us about the merit of your claim call an experienced nationally recognized LASEK malpractice attorney today.