Epi-LASIK surgery explanation
In the most recent years, LASIK has been attracting the attention from most patients who are interested in laser eye surgery for long-term visual help or correction. It is unnecessary to deny the dominant role maintained by LASIK, which does have some advantages over other procedures of the same category. But this market also accommodates some other traditional and new players. Epi-LASIK is a new comer. Of course, every new kind of laser eye surgery claims certain improvement or extra capability.
Epi-LASIK differs in some aspects
As a new form of laser eye surgery, Epi-LASIK combines some features of both LASIK and LASEK and also addresses some visual problems that are beyond these two procedures. The development of Epi-LASIK was aimed to at the first beginning provide patients additional surgical and postoperative benefits. In general, Epi-LASIK differs from other surgeries in terms of operation devices and the target eye parts.
The detailed improvements made by Epi-LASIK
LASIK creates a flap using a sharp blade or laser, which may bring too thick flap. While the flap cut by LASIK is in the cornea, Epi-LASIK cuts the cornea’s outer layer, the epithelium. This operation is just like that of LASEK. But LASEK and Epi-LASIK still differ in some aspects. LASEK uses a finer blade in cutting but Epi-LASIK takes use of a blunt, plastic blade. While LASEK gets help from alcohol in loosening the epithelial sheet, Epi-LASIK uses a plastic blade called epithelial separator.
Exact steps during the surgery
The abandon of alcohol by Epi-LASIK is believed to reduce the reaction from the alcohol and avoid killing epithelial cells. Others still argue that the use of alcohol can improve quality of the flap and attached hinge. There are further steps after the creation of flap. Folding out the flap, the surgeon uses an excimer laser to sculpt the underlying corneal tissues. Then a special contact lens will be placed on the recovered epithelial flap to maintain it stable during the epithelial re-growth.
Postoperative eye care and vision recovery
Receiving Epi-LASIK treatment, it is also important to strictly follow the doctor’s instructions. Corneal heal after the surgery is decisive to the visual outcome that can be achieved. The patient will be asked to use eye drops after the procedure and visit the doctor for additional exams. The contact lens can be removed after the re-epithelialization has occurred. In terms of vision recovery, some patients can restore 20/20 vision within three days after the procedure, while others need a longer period, e.g. three or six months. The recovery period of Epi-LASIK is usually longer than that of LASIK.
Some groups of patients can benefit more from Epi-LASIK
Epi-LASIK also has its own candidates. The creation of epithelial flap requires professional skills, so that Epi-LASIK is more suitable for low myopic people with less steep corneas. Patients with thin corneas have insufficient tissues for cutting a good LASIK flap, which can instead be addressed by Epi-LASIK. Soldiers, police officers, boxers and racquet sports enthusiasts are more likely to suffer hit in the eye. Eliminating the possibility of flap dislodging, Epi-LASIK is safer for these groups of people.
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