Treatment guide

LASEK

LASEK is a type of eye surgery aimed at restoring normal vision. Laser epithelial keratomileusis, to give the procedure its full name, can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

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LASEK Quick Details

WHO IS THIS FOR

  • People with nearsightedness.

  • People with farsightedness.

  • People with astigmatism.

  • People who don't want to manage their chronic vision problems with spectacles or contact lenses.

TREATMENT DURATION

  • The surgery usually takes between two and three hours.

RECOVERY TIME

  • Most LASEK wounds heal within seven days.

  • Patients have to wear protective bandages after surgery for at least four days.

SUCCESS

  • Between 90% and 99% of patients report a significant improvement in their vision.

  • Around 80% of patients report near-perfect vision after LASEK surgery.

  • Around 40% of patients report 20/20 vision after surgery.

  • The vast majority of patients who undergo LASEK surgery can stop using their spectacles or contact lenses almost immediately.

POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS

  • Some patients report the sensation of having a foreign object in their eye. This usually subsides after a week or so.

  • A temporary deterioration in vision, particularly in low-light environments.

  • Cloudy or blurred vision, which normally subsides after six to 12 months.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

What Is LASEK?

LASEK surgery involves the use of lasers to sculpt or reshape the outer layer of the eye - commonly referred to as the cornea. Although it's usually referred to as a type of surgery, technically speaking it's not. That's because no incision is required. People turn to this procedure in order to correct their vision without the long-term need for glasses or contact lenses.

How Does LASEK Work?

Although LASEK is a very successful and almost routine procedure, it involves a high level of skill and the very latest technology.

1. Consultation With an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist

The first stage of the process involves a thorough consultation with an eye specialist. This may be with an ophthalmologist (an eye doctor) or an optometrist (an eye specialist who can diagnose eye problems and prescribe protective eyewear). A series of tests will be performed to gauge the cause and extent of your vision problems. If you're suitable for the procedure, your eye specialist will talk you through its steps. However, not everyone with common eyesight problems qualifies for the procedure.

2. Anesthesia

A local anesthetic is injected into the eye being worked on. This is something your eye specialist will talk you through. It's not a pleasant procedure, but it's essential. This type of procedure can't be administered with a general anesthetic. If you're nervous, however, ask for a sedative to keep you calm and still throughout.

3. Detachment

The first stage of the process involves flooding the top layer of the eye (the epithelium) with alcohol. This allows the specialist to detach the layer from the eye tissue underneath. The epithelium is then rolled back to reveal the cornea. This is the area of the eye that LASEK treatment focuses on.

4. Laser Sculpting

A highly precise laser is then used to reshape the cornea directly. Changing the shape of the eye changes the angle at which light passes through it and onto the retina. Once this step is complete, the specialist can reattach the epithelium. Keeping this outer layer attached reduces both the recovery period and the likelihood of serious vision problems immediately after the procedure.

Are There Different Types of LASEK?

There is a very similar procedure for correcting vision problems called LASIK. Still the most common form of corrective eye surgery, this method involves permanently "scraping away" the cells in the epithelium in order to expose the cornea. There is a closely-related variant of LASEK known as epi-LASIK. While almost identical to LASEK, this particular procedure doesn't involve the use of an alcohol wash. Instead, the surgeon separates the epithelium from the rest of the eye with a special tool - almost like a blunt blade. This might be a better option if the surgeon is worried about you potentially having an adverse reaction to alcohol.

What Should I Expect?

In most cases, a local anesthetic is administered, so there won't be much pain. However, there could well be a lot of discomfort. You may feel like you have a foreign object in your eye during the procedure - and for several days after. This procedure involves temporarily removing the outer layer of your eye. The nature of such a procedure makes a lot of people very nervous. Speak to your surgeon if you have any specific concerns about what lies ahead.

For the first few days immediately after the procedure, expect a lot of irritation in your eye. For a time, it might feel as though you have something quite large in it. You'll have to fight the temptation to rub or scratch your eyes. You'll probably have to wear a bandage for a week or so after the procedure. But don't be disappointed if you don't have 20/20 vision right away. It can take up to 12 months before the full effects of LASEK are apparent. Not all procedures end with 20/20 vision. Temper your expectations. Your eyesight will improve, but by how much depends on a range of factors.

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Verified patient

Jocie Corona, United States

April 11, 2019

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Thanks CODET VISION!!

Great place! I would totally recommend this place. My husband struggled with finding a eye doctor out in LA that would help him out with his condition, thankfully Codet was able to help.Thanks CODET VISION!!

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Cindy Murphy, United States

April 11, 2019

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Incredible professionalism and service

Incredible professionalism and service. After 15 years of struggling with issues, the team of physicians at CODET created a care plan that has me feeling better than ever. I hadn't been to Tijuana in 18 years but I am so glad I did. They offer a medical pass for when I drive myself to and from appointments but also have a driver that will pick me up and bring me back.

Lyudmila I., Belarus

November 20, 2018

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Deep gratitude

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Muzafer Öztürk, the ophthalmologist in the Memorial Bahçelievler İstanbul. For his professionalism, modern examination and treatment methods and his sensitive and caring nature. And for his kindness, attention and understanding. I wish you all the best!

Verified patient

Adrienn, Hungary

March 29, 2017

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The service was excellent with a professional team.

Everybody is kind and friendly, and the doctor absolutely fulfilled my expectations regarding the treatment and the follow ups. I am absolutely satisfied, I got what I expected. Thank you very much!

Verified patient

Dora, Hungary

March 29, 2017

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All doctors and nurses were kind and smiling.

I was really worried before the surgery, but for now I realized that there is not a reason to worry about anything. The surgery was absolutely painless. The feeling when you wake up and you can read the exact time from the o’clock without glasses is fantastic!

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