LASEK: Proven and safe eye laser.
When a LAKIK is not possible.
LASEK/PRK best for patients with:
- Lesser corneal thickness
- Specific eye disease or familial predisposition
- Corneal scars
- Sports with direct physical contact
The LASEK (Laser Epitheliale Keratomileusis) is the further development of the PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), which has been applied since 1988. It is considered a safe alternative when for anatomic reasons a SMILE or Femto-LASIK is not possible. LASEK and PRK are suitable mainly for patients with a thinner cornea and slight defective vision.
Contrary to SMILE or Femto-LASIK there is no need for a corneal incision. The upper layer of the covering cells of the cornea, the epithelium, is undone with an alcohol-based solution and the ablation occurs directly on the underlying layer. This method is apt for types of defective vision that for certain reasons are not eligible for SMILE or LASIK.
Compared to SMILE or LASIK the healing process is considerably decelerated and more postoperative pain arises. It is not advisable two work during the first two weeks after surgery. Strenuous physical exercise, chemical or mechanic stimulation as well as dusty smoky air should be avoided. As to avoid a possible formation of scars, eye drops are administered up to three months. During these first weeks the visual faculty fluctuates and the aspired vision attunes gradually.
Since contact lenses can influence the form of your cornea, you should not wear them for several weeks before the surgery.
Start your day with your usual routines. That will help to calm you. Cleanse the eye zone carefully and do not use cosmetic products such as facial cream, make-up or perfume the day before and the day after the surgery. You can eat and drink normally. Wear comfortable clothes to feel at ease.
It is an outpatient treatment and takes for both eyes approximately 20 minutes. A bit of excitement and tension are completely normal. If you feel too anxious you can ask for sedation. Prior to the surgery, we check together all data before anesthetizing the first eye with eye drops. Normally we start with the right eye. To avoid you blinking during surgery, a lid-opener is inserted while the other eye is covered up. An alcoholic solution is applied to your eye to remove the upper corneal layer, the epithelium. With the Excimer laser the surgeon shapes the cornea according to the previously established data so that optimum refractive power is obtained. A so-called eye-tracker tracks your eye during surgery and controls the laser in a way that even with minimal eye movement it is perfectly positioned. After that a therapeutical contact lens (protective lens) is introduced which protects the open corneal layer for 3-5 days. That is how long it takes the epithelium to close, comparable to a minor skin abrasion.
There is no need for other post-surgical measures. After the surgery it is convenient that family or friends collect you as you are not allowed to drive a vehicle. For the protection of your eyes we suggest that you wear sun-glasses.
Be careful not to rub your eyes after the surgery. Approximately 3-4 days after surgery the protective lenses are removed. Two weeks after surgery you can begin undergoing sports activities. Hobbies such as swimming or sauna should be avoided for about 4 weeks to minimize the risk of infections. A control of the successful treatment takes place the day after, 3-4 days after, 2 weeks and approximately one month after the surgery. Should you have any question you can always call upon us.
Surgical risks can be reduced to a minimum through conscious acting and through our quality management but cannot be excluded completely. But there is a solution for nearly all complications, if patient and physician behave correctly. The employment of modern technologies at our locations as well as regular training, the experience of the operating surgeons and of the whole Smile Eyes team contribute decisively to minimize the risk of LASEK /PRK surgeries.
Usually the complications are limited to three problems:
Infections can occur at every surgery, also with LASEK/PRK. In hospitals with sterile conditions this risk can be minimized considerably (below 1:3000)
Aim of the treatment is the complete correction of defective vision. This goal can be achieved in approximately 95% of the cases with one single intervention. Individual tissue reactions can implicate over- or under-correction which necessitate a second intervention.
A constitutional tissue weakness can very rarely, provoke a protrusion of the cornea soon after the surgery or years after, which can compromise the vision. Such a protrusion (Keratectasia) can be treated with a tailor-made contact lens, interlinking the cornea with UV-light and/or the implantation of stabilising ring segments into the cornea.