New York Lasek Surgery
LASEK...Latest 3rd Generation Procedure
a clinical investigator for VISX, Dr. Robbins was one
of the first surgeons in the country to perform PRK.
VISX received FDA approval for the procedure to treat
myopia in 1996 and astigmatism in 1997. That same year,
Dr. Robbins introduced LASIK to the Rochester market.
Since then, LASIK has been well-received by the public
with a much more rapid visual recovery than any other
prior refractive procedure.
LASIK involves the cutting of a corneal flap with a microkeratome.
This mechanical device is attached to the eye with suction,
and the flap must be perfect in order to proceed with
surgery. Many of the potential complications of LASIK are related to the creation and healing of the corneal
flap. Although serious flap complications are rare,
they can be very serious and lead to permanent visual
loss. In addition, the cornea must be sufficiently thick
to allow for the creation of the corneal flap and tissue
removal to effect the desired prescription change.
Introduced to Rochester
not to be confused with LASIK, is the synthesis of PRK and LASIK. Rather than cutting a 160 micron flap with
a microkeratome, the outer skin is partially fixated
with dilute alcohol and manually peeled from the surface
of the cornea. This epithelial-only flap is much thinner
than the LASIK flap and much more superficial. Like
LASIK, the energy is applied to the cornea tissue and
the flap placed back over the eye.
LASEK is not PRK, but neither is it LASIK. Healing time and
visual recovery is somewhere in the middle. In exchange
for a slower visual recovery, is the greater margin
of safety and elimination of the microkeratome. Most
patients who undergo bilateral LASEK have functional
vision the next day, but are decidedly blurry. By 3-4
weeks, acuities with LASEK are generally equal to those
attained with LASIK and superior to the level found
the flap is more superficial and not cut, many of the
potential complications of conventional LASIK are avoided.
For example, dislocation of the flap or folds in the
flap can be easily treated in LASEK patients by removing
the epithelial flap and converting the surgery to PRK.
Relatively rare complications of LASIK such as Interstitial
inflammation (DLK) and epithelial ingrowth cannot occur
and any infection occurring post surgery would be more
superficial and easier to treat following LASEK.
LASEK is particularly well suited for those eyes that are
thinner than average or have large pupils. The additional
room provided by LASEK allows for larger optical zones
and lessen the risk of glare and halos.
LASEK is a new procedure and has not yet received FDA approval.
As such, it is considered an Off-label use of the excimer
laser. It is too early to say whether the visual outcomes
are better or worse than LASIK, but they certainly appear
to be comparable. However, results to date are better
than PRK, a procedure which has already received FDA
real question is which procedure best suits your visual
needs and anatomy. After undergoing a thorough examination,
your doctor will usually recommend one or the other.
Certainly if your cornea is thinner than average, LASEK appears to be the safer procedure. For others, the rapid
visual recover of LASIK outweighs any potential benefits
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Address: 1678 Empire Boulevard | Webster, New York
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