LASEK and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
Laser surgery on the surface of the eye was the original and safest way to correct shortsight, long-sight and astigmatism with excimer laser.
The main advantages of LASEK are:
- Excellent visual result
- Generally less expensive
- Painless outpatient procedure
- Minimally invasive
- Can be used to treat thin corneas
Viewpoint surgeons have offered this treatment since 1995 with excellent long term results.
The procedure involves gently removing the surface cells of the cornea before reshaping it with the laser. In PRK the surface cells are gently scraped away with a scalpel whereas in LASEK the surface cells are loosened by soaking the surface of the cornea in Alcohol for a minute and then gently displacing the surface layer. In effect the two procedures are identical apart form the method used to expose the surface of the cornea.
The actual laser procedure is short, painless, and only requires topical anesthetics or eye drops. PRK or LASEK can be used to treat myopia up to -6.00 dioptres, hyperopia up to +2.00 dioptres and mild to moderate astigmatism. The treatment is very successful for this level of correction.
Like LASIK, PRK and LASEK usually takes less than few minutes per eye. However, recovery time is slightly longer.