Laser eye surgery and the epithelium

Often times called ophthalmic surgery, eye surgery, is a surgical procedure that is preformed on the eye or eye region. This type of surgery, due to it’s nature, is typically performed by an ophthalmatolgist; hence the original name ophthalmic surgery.

There is several different types of eye surgery. The most common are described below:

PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy):
PRK surgery is when the most oustide layer of the cornea is scraped away manually and an excimer laser is used to reshape the tissues located underneath the surface of the cornea. After the corrective eye surgery is done the outer layer must be grown back, in order for the eye to be protected again. Due to this, PRK is known for having a large recovery time. There as some advanced methods avaiable today that use a different excimer laser which vaporizes the epthithelium, however it is not widely used.

LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis)
LASEK is advanced form of PRK(see below) that uses an alcholic solution on the epithelium which softens the surface before it is removed. With this procedure the epithelium can be replaces once the surgery is finished.

Epi-LASEK is similar to LASEK however it uses a type of barrier to preserve the epithelium layer, which is then replaced after the surgery. The reason for this extra step is to try and help cut down post surgery discomfort, and increase the amount of time required for healing.

As you can see their is several different methods of laser eye surgery; These aren’t even all of them! If you think that eye surgery might be right for you, or are interested in obtaining more information it is recommended to consult with your local physician and eye doctor.