Flapless LASIK, also known as LASEK, is a procedure that is used for those who are not candidates for traditional LASIK. This includes patients who have very thin corneas, anxiety about a creation of a flap, and deep set eyes.
LASEK differs from LASIK, as no flap is created. Instead, the epithelium of the cornea is chemically altered using a diluted solution of alcohol which loosens the epithelial layer and then using special instruments, is gently peeled back as an intact sheet. The underlying cornea is then available for laser reshaping. The thin sheet of cornea is then floated back into place and a bandage contact lens is placed and worn for 5 days.
Visual recovery time is typically 1-2 week and patients may experience uncomfortable burning and gritty sensations for 4-5 days. This procedure typically has longer healing times than traditional LASIK and doesn’t have the immediate “wow” factor, but after 6 months postoperatively, the results have been the same. It is a great alternative for those who aren’t candidates for the traditional LASIK. This procedure also eliminates any complications of a flap found in the traditional LASIK.
For more information about flapless lasik or LASEK at our Boston-area practice, please contact The Nielsen Eye Center today.