Epi-LASIK: What It Is And How You May Benefit

Epi Lasik Epi-LASIK stands for a new procedure in eye surgery formally called "Epithelial Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis". Like other forms of LASIK surgery, this one is hard to pronounce, but easy on the eyes. The Epi-lasik procedure allows eye surgeons to correct common visual disturbances including nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness.

Epi-LASIK combines the technology often featured in other forms of traditional LASIK as well as non-traditional procedures like LASEK or PRK. There are so many different types of LASIK these days, it is hard for most consumers to differentiate between them. Let's look at how Epi LASIK varies from other LASIK procedures.

Why Epi-LASIK
Epi-LASIK more closely resembles LASEK surgery than traditional LASIK procedures. Surgeons adopting the Epi LASIK practice no not apply an alcohol solution to the surface of the epithelium. This is also true for LASEK surgery.

In addition, like LASEK surgery, the Epi-LASIK procedure is ideal for patients with thin corneas. Like other procedures a thin flap is cut within the epithelium using a blade or microkeratome.

Typically with other procedures like the traditional LASIK surgery, surgeons use alcohol to loosen the epithelial flap. Once a surgeon removes the epithelial layer during the Epi LASIK procedures, like most traditional LASIK the doctor will then use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea then reapply the corneal flap to help promote faster healing in patients.

Advantages of Epi LASIK
There are many advantages of using the Epi-LASIK compared with other procedures. The most clear of these is the reduced risk of complications associated with corneal flap healing. Many researchers and physicians feel Epi-LASIK allows for less down time, with patients showing greater healing within 4 days compared with an estimated healing time of up to 7 days using LASI, PRK and related procedures.

Many patients also report less discomfort, which is a key concern for surgeons. No one wants to go under the "knife" so to speak while they are awake and a surgeon is fiddling with their eye. The less discomfort a patient feels, the more relaxed and better able to heal they are.

Typically following an Epi-LASIK correction, a surgeon will place a bandage contact lens over the eye to help reduce any lingering discomfort and promote healing. Of course, for patients with thin corneas or other risk factors preventing traditional LASIK, the Epi-LASIK procedure presents a welcome alternative. Most surgeons recommend this procedure for individuals with thin corneas that may not otherwise qualify for laser correction.

If you aren't sure whether you are a candidate for Epi-LASIK, your healthcare provider can help you decide whether this or another form of LASIK will provide you with the best (and longer lasting) results. Your goals should of course, include better vision without a lot of complications. Everyone should expect a small amount of discomfort, but no one should fear the LASIK surgeon as they might the dentist.

Don't simply walk into your doctor's office however, and assume you know what type of surgery is right for you. Remember any competent surgeon will review your medical history and provide you a recommendation based on multiple health factors, including your present vision, the amount of correction needed, the shape of your eye and thickness of your cornea.

The good news is almost anyone with visual disturbances may benefit from surgeries including the Epi-LASI and enjoy complication free surgery with minimal down time.

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