March 01, 2010

Is Epi-lasik Surgery Right for Me

By Staff in Categories: LASIK

Interesting article

Most people take their vision for granted, especially if they have never suffered from poor vision. For many, there is no other option except for eye surgery. Other people choose corrective surgery because they are tired of always having to use eyeglasses. As you start looking into your eye surgery options, you will find that there are many new techniques that are used in corrective vision surgery. How do you choose the right procedure? What are the differences between LASIK surgery and the new Epi-LASIK surgery?

The Difference between LASIK and Epi-LASIK Surgery

Epi-LASIK and LASIK surgery are different procedures for corrective eye surgery. These procedures reduce or eliminate a person’s need for glasses or contact lenses. Up until recently, the usual procedure for eye corrective surgery was LASIK surgery. LASIK surgery stands for Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, and this procedure basically changes the shape of the eye’s cornea using a laser. During the procedure, a flap is cut in the cornea, and then this flap is folded back to reveal the middle section of the cornea. The laser then changes the shape of the cornea and the flap is then replaced.

Epi-LASIK surgery is also an eye corrective procedure that has evolved from LASIK surgery. It has combined the best elements of LASIK, LASEK and PRK procedures into one. It involves the separation of the epithelial from the top of the cornea, and this eliminates the need to cut into the cornea and create a hinged flap. As opposed to LASIK surgery, Epi-LASIK combines surface based procedures that do not need the flap procedure and the advantages of LASIK surgery, which produce less pain and faster recovery.

Epi-LASIK surgery is still similar to the LASIK technique because it still involves the use of a laser beam to reshape the cornea. It appears to be more effective with people who suffer from mild forms of farsightedness, astigmatism or nearsightedness. If a patient suffers from moderate to severe myopia, then LASIK surgery is still the best option.

Why is Epi-LASIK Surgery Better Than PRK and LASIK Surgery in Some Cases?

Epi-LASIK came about because of certain complications with PRK and LASIK techniques.

• PRK created a large abrasion when removing the epithelial cells and this would cause the patient discomfort. Plus, the procedure caused some haze in the cornea which created haloes around lights. These effects lessened after six months, but were still uncomfortable during that time period.

• LASIK creates a hinged flap, which is not really painful. However, it created other problems caused by the flap, problems such as dry eyes or scratchiness.

Epi-LASIK then tries to avoid the problems associated by both procedures by combining the advantages of surface based procedures that require no flap and the advantages of LASIK that provides less pain and a faster recovery. In essence, Epi-LASIK surgery gives you a shorter visual recovery time and reduces the risk of any complications.

Who does Epi-LASIK surgery benefit?

Studies have shown that people with thin corneas benefit more from this type of surgery, because LASIK surgery requires more corneal tissue in order to create the flap, and these patients don’t have enough corneal tissue.

It is also shown to benefit people who risk having the flap dislodged. These people risk being hit in the face or the eye for any number of reasons, people like athletes or people who work in violent fields, like the military or police fields.

Who Benefits More from LASIK Surgery Rather than Epi-LASIK Surgery?

Patients who have moderate to severe myopia tend to benefit more from LASIK surgery rather than Epi-LASIK. Epi-LASIK suits people who do not have such steep corneas.

Each type of LASIK surgery has pros and cons and should be analyzed with your doctor. That way, you can find the best type of corrective LASIK for your specific needs. It is important that you talk about these issues and LASIK cost with your doctor before you undergo surgery.

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