November 16, 2022

What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK?

If you’ve been thinking about having laser eye surgery, you can be forgiven if some of the terms have confused you a little. Medical terminology can prove hard to get your head around and can often take a couple of read-throughs and some background research for it to be crystal clear.

One that often confuses people is LASIK and LASEK. Again, you can be forgiven, they’re nearly the same word, after all! This post will outline what is the difference between LASIK and LASEK.

We’ll cover:

  • What is LASIK?
  • The Benefits of LASIK
  • What is LASEK?
  • The Benefits of LASEK
  • What Are the Main Differences Between the Two?

What is LASIK?

LASIK surgery has been performed for over 25 years. In that time, it’s successfully helped improve the vision of millions of patients. The procedure can be used to treat farsightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatisms and even helps those with plain-old reading glasses.

During LASIK treatment, your surgeon will first use a femtosecond laser to create a thin flap on your cornea. This flap will then be lifted and the second laser will be introduced. An older technique using a blade to create a flap is now obsolete and you should avoid any clinic offering this approach.

The second laser (called an excimer laser) is the one that corrects your need for glasses. The new shape of your cornea allows clear vision by correctly focusing light onto the retina inside the eye.

After the laser has reshaped your cornea, the flap is folded back into position and fits perfectly into the area that was originally removed. Don’t worry, it sounds a lot more gruesome than it actually is and, thanks to anaesthetic gel, patients don’t feel a thing.

The Results

Speaking from experience here at Focus Clinic, we’ve achieved incredible results from the advanced A-LASIK procedure. One-hundred per cent of patients with common short-sighted prescriptions achieved 20/20 or better vision in our published research analysis. We know of no other clinic that can match these results.

The Benefits of LASIK

There are various benefits to undergoing LASIK eye surgery. These are:

  1. Patients don’t usually experience pain with LASIK.
  2. You can usually see results as soon as one to four hours after the treatment and often immediately.
  3. No bandages or stitches are required after your treatment.
  4. It’s cost-efficient as you no longer have to keep updating your frames and your prescription, or buying contact lenses.
  5. The results are permanent for short-sight and astigmatism and follow-up procedures are rare. Age-related problems such as long-sightedness are often amenable to enhancement in the future.

What is LASEK?

LASEK eye treatments reshape the cornea to correct your focus abnormalities. These treatments are far less popular than LASIK due to the post-treatment pain. The healing process is also considerably longer than LASIK too and can take up to four to seven days.

These treatments are sometimes referred to as “surface laser” to distinguish them from the LASIK approach. LASEK is only used in approximately five to ten per cent of cases. LASEK is especially useful for those with very thin corneas, or in contact sports or extremely active lifestyles.

During the procedure, the surface skin cells are removed in order to expose what’s underneath. After the laser application, the skin is left to heal for the next three to four days.

You’ll start to see improvements in your vision after three to five days and the pain will tend to wear off three days after your treatment. LASEK (PRK) treatment is usually chosen for a patient with typically thinner corneas, e.g. less than 490-500 microns.

The Results

LASEK surgery has been around for 30 years and is a relatively simple procedure. At Focus Clinic, we’re the only clinic in the country with a 9.9 out of 10 rating. This is why we’re the UK’s most trusted laser eye surgery clinic, as supported by our excellent reviews.

The Benefits of LASEK

As with LASIK, there are also various benefits to having LASEK eye treatment:

  • Can correct the vision of people with thinner corneas.
  • May be an option if you’re severely short-sighted.
  • Useful for patients participating in contact sports.

What Are The Main Differences Between the Two?

So, what’s the difference between LASIK and LASEK?

Well, the main difference is how the cornea is opened to allow access for the laser. The most appropriate method depends on the thickness of your corneas, which obviously you can’t control. Therefore, the different types of treatment suit different people.

Eyes are unique.

So, your unique eye qualities can make you unsuitable for the more popular LASIK treatment. It’s likely that you’ll only be referred for LASEK treatment if you’re unsuitable for LASIK.

The recovery times are also a major difference too.

LASIK patients tend to be able to see full results after just four hours of having undergone the procedure, whereas LASEK patients tend to start seeing a difference after three days. Plus, LASEK treatment is regarded to be more painful postoperatively than LASIK.

It’s worth noting that it’s up to mother nature as to which treatment will work best for your eyes. Your corneas will decide, not whether you want a pain-free procedure.

Be Sure to Choose the Right Specialist and Clinic

You should always look for and choose a qualified and experienced LASIK or LASEK surgeon for your vision correction. Your sight is paramount to living a hassle-free life. Having this worked on is no mean feat, so you need to be confident in a surgeon you can trust.

At Focus Clinic, we’re the only clinic in the country with a 100 percent success rate and have a 9.9 out of 10 rating. We also offer a comprehensive aftercare package to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and there are no hidden costs.

Find out more about Focus Clinic’s treatment offering and our superior service by downloading our free information pack. If you want to find out more about the ins-and-outs of laser eye surgery before speaking to a clinician, go ahead and download it below.


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