What is Epi-LASIK Surgery and How Does It Work?

The Epi-LASIK was developed to give solution to some of the problems and potential problems of both the LASIK and LASEK. It somewhat incorporates the two methods but differs in some major areas.

Epi-LASIK procedure

In the LASIK surgery, the surgeon creates a flap from the cornea using a laser or a sharp blade. There is the risk in this procedure in that the flap might be cut too thickly.

During the LASEK operation, the outer layer of the cornea is cut in a very thin sheet with a portion of it retaining as a hinge to the eye. In Epi-LASIK, the same procedure is done but using a blunt blade in contrast to LASEK’s sharper blade.

In LASEK, an alcohol is used to loosen the epithelial tissue while in Epi-LASIK, the physician uses a plastic blade which is known as the epithelial separator. This procedure is used in order to avoid possible complications due to reaction of the eye from the alcohol that is applied.

After an Epi-LASIK surgery

After a surgery using the Epi-LASIK method, the patient’s vision may not be restored perfectly to normal. This could take two to three days while in some cases patients experience full recovery after three to six months.

You cannot immediately take on the driver’s wheel after the surgery. Wait for at least a week before you start driving. The same with other eye surgeries, you need to follow every instruction from your physician because the clarity of your vision will be affected on how the cornea heals.

After an Epi-LASIK surgery, you will be experiencing discomfort. The uneasiness that the patient will experience is less than those who undergo the PRK or LASEK eye surgical operations.

Who are good candidates for Epi-LASIK?

Epi-LASIK just like every other eye surgery is not for everyone. The surgeon decides what the best surgical operation for you is. People with thin corneas are likely to undergo the Epi-LASIK eye surgery.

Surgeons may also opt for Epi-LASIK for those people who are engaged in activities or who have hobbies and professions that have a greater risk of being hit in the eye like boxers, soldiers and police officers.

LASIK and PRK: A Comparison of the Two Eye Surgery Procedures

PRK and LASIK are two of the most common eye laser surgical methods. Both could correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Thorough understanding of each procedure is the first step. So how do you decide which of the two procedures to use?

PRK or the Photorefractive keratectomy is one of the many types of refractive surgery. The PRK is the pioneer to laser eye surgery. It precedes the popular LASIK procedure.

Studies show that patients who have undergone the PRK eye laser surgery took a little longer to recover compared to LASIK patients. Although it has this disadvantage, there are still a great number of patients and medical practitioners that prefer PRK over LASIK mainly for the advantages this procedure has.

PRK vs LASIK

The main operational difference between the two procedures is that in LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea. This is done to access the area that needs to be treated. In contrast, PRK removes the entire outer layer of the cornea to expose the area and there is no flap created.

For both procedures, the excimer laser is used to sculpt or the stromal layer of the patient’s cornea so that the refractive error can now be corrected.

The results of PRK surgeries are somewhat the same with LASIK outcomes. As mentioned earlier, the PRK recovery is slower compared to LASIK. In PRK eye laser surgery, the risk of acquiring eye infection and haziness of eyesight is higher compared to LASIK. The patients of LASIK surgery experience less discomfort during the operation and after the operation. Their vision also stabilizes more quickly.

On the other hand, there are some unique benefits that one only gets from a PRK surgery. In the PRK surgery, the entire thick underlying stroma can be accessed for treatment. This is because there is no creation of corneal flap in PRK.

This is very beneficial for patients with thin cornea. If your cornea is thin, you cannot proceed with LASIK surgery. In PRK there are no flaps hence there are no risk associated with flap complications. Also, the risk of too much cornea removal is reduced.

LASIK Facts and Myths

The laser eye correction has been controversial for quite a time. People are wondering whether laser surgeries are effective and safe.

One of the widely practiced eye surgery methods is LASIK which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Although this has been used for quite some time now, people are still debating whether LASIK can genuinely restore the normal vision of patients undergoing the operation.

LASIK myths

These are just a few of the several myths about LASIK:

• LASIK operation is very painful.

• There is a great possibility that you will go blind after a LASIK surgery.

• If you experience complications after a LASIK surgery, there is no treatment to fix it.

• LASIK has just been introduced therefore its side effects and long term effectiveness are still unknown; researchers are still studying it.

• LASIK cannot correct astigmatism and farsightedness. It only corrects nearsightedness or myopia.

• A successful LASIK operation would mean that in the long run or as you age, you will not anymore be needing contact lenses or eye glasses.

LASIK facts or truths

LASIK operation is not painful. The surgeon places droplets of numbing substance into your eye so you will not feel discomfort during the operation. You will only feel a brief sensation of pressure when the corneal flap is created.

• No one has reportedly been blind from a LASIK operation. Serious complications are rare since LASIK surgery only affects the frontal surface of your eyes.

• If the LASIK operations have complications afterwards, there are treatments that could cure it. However, it should be noted that at least 95 percent of those who underwent the surgery did not experience any complications and were satisfied with the results.

• Laser vision correction has been in operation since the 1980s. There have already been several studies conducted that proves the long term effectiveness and safety of LASIK operation.

• LASIK does not only correct nearsightedness but as well as farsightedness and astigmatism. For severe cases of these three common visual problems, there are other options that one could consider.

• LASIK operation cannot prevent the normal aging of your eyes. So if you reach the age of 40, you will need to wear reading glasses.

Tips in Choosing a Laser Eye Surgeon

There are several doctors who offer services to those who want to go through laser eye surgery. Most of them are highly qualified with commendable expertise. However, with all the available surgeons around, choosing one can be daunting. To trim down your choice, take a look at the following ideas:

Be vigilant about advertising. Expert surgeons do not advertise too much about what they can do because their satisfied clients would advertise for them. Be wary of doctors who pay heavily for advertisements because it only means that they lack popularity among patients which is why they have to exert more effort to be known. Also, chances are, the cost of advertisements will also be collected from patients making the professional fees higher than the usual.

Avoid doctors with unbelievable promises. When talking to a doctor, be cautious of red flags such as too good to be true promises like 100% recovery of eyesight after the surgical procedure. Remember that just like any medical procedure, laser eye surgery also comes with risks and potential complications. A good surgeon would let you know about these risks and would not guarantee anything that may turn out otherwise.

Check the license. To ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate medical practitioner, validate the surgeon’s information from the local licensing board. Take note that without a license, you will have a hard time filing for legal complaint on the person since he is not bound by code of ethics and guidelines of an acceptable organization or body. Aside from his license, a surgeon must also be certified for him to be allowed to practice his area of specialization.

Ask for recommendations. To determine the right laser eye surgery doctor, ask for recommendations or feedback from his previous clients. You can get this information from the doctor himself. If he refuses to provide the contact information of some of his clients, it only means that he is hiding something.

Ask questions. If there are things that you are not sure of or wants to know more about, do not hesitate to ask the surgeon. A good doctor would be able to explain things to you in simple terms.

Here’s a great video with some extra tips!

Growing Concerns On Laser Eye Surgery Increases

Consumer groups have expressed their concerns on individuals who are contemplating about getting laser eye surgery. According to the group, most patients are not informed that there are risks involved in the mentioned surgical procedure. LASIK and other eye corrective measures using laser are becoming more and more popular despite its price.

According to investigations of Health Which Magazine, any doctor can operate and carry out the treatment for as long as he has gone through a few days training. A specialization or further studies is not required for a doctor to perform the surgical procedure.

The procedure and its popularity

About 100,000 individuals in UK with eye problems resort to laser eye surgery every year in the hopes of getting rid of their eyeglasses and contact lenses. The procedure’s popularity banks on its simplicity and swiftness plus the fact that it is being endorsed by several celebrities.

The comments and feedback of individuals who went through the surgical procedure are divided. While there are those who say there is only a minimal risk of complications with the procedure, there are also those who say that the risk is totally non-existent. The risks and complications every after surgery varies from one clinic and surgeon to another.

Complications and insurance claims

A lot of laser eye surgery critics point out various complications associated with the medical procedure. In some cases, a corneal transplant is required when fluid corneal ectasia or the build-up of pressure on the eye takes place after the patient go through the process.

There are other complications linked to eye surgery using laser but most of them are minor. However, based on the studies conducted by American Academy of Ophthalmology, the incidence of these minor complications is increasing at higher rates. There are also those who complain about having difficulty seeing at night or night vision problems which can impact their ability to drive at night or to work during night time.

It was also reported that more insurance companies have increased their charge among doctors who work in this field because their clients who are claiming for compensation fees have also increased.