Epi-LASIK, (Epithelial Laser In Situ Keratomileusis) is an advanced type of corneal surface ablation to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Like the other Laser Eye Surgery surface ablation procedures such as PRK and LASEK, it attempts to merge the desirable features of LASIK, PRK and LASEK.
- Patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK
- Athletes who may have a possibility for eye trauma
- Patients who may have a physically active lifestyle.
- Patients with certain corneal diseases
- Patients with a certain degree of dry eyes
- Patients concerned about a corneal flap
- Patients who had previous eye surgery, such as RK or PRK
The difference is what layer of the cornea the laser is applied to. With Epi-LASIK the laser is applied to the surface of the permanent layers of the cornea. With regular LASIK the laser is applied to the deeper permanent layers of the cornea.
Generally, patients under the age of 40 still read well without the use of glasses following the surgery. Patients over the age of 40 may need reading glasses for small print. Presbyopia is a term that refers to the natural weakening of the muscles that occurs in our early to mid 40s, causing us to need reading glasses. LASIK does not correct or prevent presbyopia. Should you fall into this age category, we will be happy to discuss monovision with you at your consultation. This is an option that allows many patients the convenience of near and distance vision without the use of reading glasses.
Once your vision allows, you can resume all activities. You should however, avoid intense or direct strong sunlight and dirty or dusty environments for as long as possible after treatment.
We will require that you have someone drive you home following your procedure. However, you may drive when you feel comfortable enough to drive safely, possibly the next day.
No. We typically demonstrate to the patients that they can bend over immediately after surgery, pick up 20-30 pounds, and shower, provided they don't get water into their operative eye. We do ask that they wear an eye shield at bedtime for the first few weeks after surgery so they do not inadvertently rub the eye during sleep. Typical follow-up evaluations are scheduled at 1 day, 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks, with glasses being prescribed between the 3rd and 6th week visit.
Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea similar to how a watchband can make an imprint on your wrist. If you have your eyes examined too soon after removing your contact lenses, several of the eye tests could give inaccurate results and negatively influence your surgical outcome. Discontinue wearing soft contact lenses according to the doctor's recommendation prior to the preoperative measurements and surgery. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens wearers may require a more protracted amount of time out of lens wear. Our Doctor will advise you if your corneas have not returned to their natural shape after removing your contact lenses.
You may need glasses or other corrective lenses after the procedure on a temporary or permanent basis.
Research has shown that epi-LASIK can be successfully performed after a corneal transplant or previous radial keratotomy (RK) refractive surgery. However, the decision depends on many factors. See us for a pre-operative consultation and exam to see if you are a good candidate.