LASEK vs LASIK
Laser Vision Correction has a long history of success and improvements have been made over the years. At present, Laser Vision Correction has a high success rate and low risk profile. Many people can see better than they could with prior contact lenses or glasses wear.
However, there is still some confusion over the types of Laser Vision Correction available. It boils down to whether a flap of corneal tissue is created, and the treatment performed under a flap or if the treatment is performed on the corneal surface without a flap. The flap treatment is known as Laser Assisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis (LASIK), and the surface treatment is known as Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK — which has a related surface treatment known as PRK -Photorefractive Keratomileusis).
What are the Differences?
Results of LASEK vs LASIK:
The results of each are the same because the treating laser for the prescription is the same.
- Both give 99% 20/40 or better uncorrected vision in nearly all patients
- Nearly 60% can achieve 20/15 vision uncorrected and some even better
- Both can be associated with blurry uncorrected vision if the person is over 40 years old
- Neither guarantee no need for glasses afterward
LASEK vs LASIK Surgery:
Both surgeries are performed with a state-of-art laser, the Alcon Wavelight EX500. Here are some similarities and differences:
- If LASIK, a Zeimer LDV24 or FS200 femtosecond laser is used to create the flap
- Both eyes can be treated at the same time with either procedure
- Typically, there is mild discomfort and blurry vision early with LASEK, less so with LASIK
- LASEK typically can treat higher corrections than LASIK safely can
- It is possible to treat thinner corneas with LASEK than LASIK
- It is possible to weaken the cornea structure with LASIK
LASEK vs LASIK Postoperative:
These are the biggest postoperative similarities and differences between the two procedures:
- Recovery of vision is slightly longer at roughly 2 weeks with LASEK versus one week with LASIK
- There are no possibilities of flap complications with LASEK that can dramatically affect outcomes
- Both could be associated with longer recoveries in some individuals
- Both can be associated with corneal scarring
- Both can be associated with halos around lights especially at night- possibly severe with LASIK
- Both can be associated with dry eye and may be severe with LASIK