Difference between LASIK and LASEK

21 Feb 2013

Optilase is the leading laser eye specialist in Northern Ireland, and has a dedicated team committed to giving patients the very best results.

You’ll find state-of-the-art equipment in all of the clinics, but you’ll also find warm and friendly staff that is happy to explain the sometimes daunting terminology used in Laser Eye Surgery.

Optilase offer a free consultation to all patients, and are happy to answer all your questions at any time.

What is LASEK?

LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis) is a newer variation of PRK, a procedure in which laser energy is applied directly to the eye's outer surface for reshaping and vision correction.

Here are the differences between all three procedures; LASIK, PRK and LASEK. Don’t worry, as your Optometrist and Ophthalmic Surgeon at Optilase will recommend the right one for you and your particular eye issue, and tell if whether or not you are in fact a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery at all.


With LASIK, a thin flap is cut into the eye's surface and then lifted. An Excimer cool laser is applied to the eye for reshaping, and the flap is replaced, working as a natural bandage, so healing is swift.

IF you have PRK, the ophthalmic Surgeon doesn’t cut a flap in the eye; he applies the laser directly to the eye's surface. The ultra -thin, outer layer of the eye (epithelium) is removed completely with the laser and eventually grows back.

A LASEK procedure may be performed during which the surgeon lifts it form the eye’s surface before laser is applied for re-shaping. A special cutting tool is used to remove this very thin layer, called a trephine. When he’s finished, he simply paces the epithelium on the eye's surface.

When Does the Surgeon Choose not to perform LASIK

If the patient has corneas that are either too thick, or a bit too steep for LASIK surgery, the surgeons uses LASEK to reduce the chance of any complications of making a fold-back flap.

LASEK patients take longer to heal after the whole surface of the eye has been removed, rather than having a flap folded back and replaced. A bandage contact lens is usually applied to give the eye a chance to heal.

85% of Laser Eye Surgeries are LASIK, but in the case of certain types of corneas or specific patient requirements, your Optilase Eye Surgeon will choose a more suitable surgery for you.

You can get a completely free consultation by calling the Optilase Clinic nearest you on 08000 121 565.

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