What Is Epi-LASIK? Cons & Pros

Epi-LASIK, also known as Epi-K or Advanced Surface Treatment. It actually combines advantages from both PRK and Traditional LASIK into one single procedure. Epi-LASIK is similar to Lasek, In Lasek, the epithelium is cut with a cylinder-shaped blade called a trephine and is briefly covered with an alcohol solution to loosen it from the underlying corneal tissue. During the Epi-LASIK procedure, a blunt microkeratome smoothly removes without cutting the surface layer, or epithelium, from the cornea.

What Is Epi-LASIK? Cons & Pros

The next step involves using an excimer laser just like with conventional LASIK. Afterward, the epithelial flap is placed back on the surface of the cornea with a spatula. No use of alcohol is needed to soften or loosen the epithelial cells. Epi-LASIK avoids complications associated with the deep stromal flaps of ordinary LASIK including flap irregularity, epithelial ingrowth and corneal ectasia.

Good Candidates

Epi-LASIK is not suitable for everyone although it may be considered a better option should you not be suitable for LASIK. It is ideal for patients whose corneas may be too thin to safely perform LASIK on. Or those patients who would like to have laser vision correction but are afraid to have any type of incision made on their eyes such as boxers, football players and athletes.

Advantages

Able to treat patients with thinner corneas
Reduced incidence of flap complications
Lower rate of dry eye syndrome