SURFACE LASER EYE SURGERY (LASEK & PRK)
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Surface Laser Eye Surgery (LASEK & PRK)
LASEK AND PRK HAVE A LONG HISTORY
Both laser eye surgery procedures treat the surface of the eye which avoides creating a flap on the cornea.
There are two types of surface laser eye surgery; LASEK and PRK. In these treatments, the laser is used on the surface of the cornea to reshape it and allow the light to be focussed correctly onto the retina.
CONDITIONS TREATED BY SURFACE LASER EYE SURGERY
VIDEO: WHAT IS SURFACE LASER EYE SURGERY?
HOW DOES SURFACE LASER (LASEK & PRK) WORK?
Local anaesthetic drops are used to numb the surface of the eye. In LASEK the front layer of cells (the epithelium) is removed and placed to one side. A special Excimer laser is then used to reshape the surface of the cornea and allow it to focus the light onto the retina; so glasses are no longer necessary. The epithelial layer is then placed back on the surface and allowed to heal.
In PRK the same procedure is followed as LASEK but the top epithelial layer is not replaced but instead allowed to grow back naturally. The epithelial layer is made of cells which are constantly being replaced as part of the natural cycle.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SURFACE LASER (LASEK & PRK)
No risks of managing the flap
It is a suitable alternative to LASIK
Can be used in people who have previously had other forms of laser eye surgery
There is a longer visual recovery time
Contact lenses may need to be worn to help protect the eye and allow it to heal