LASIK is a surgery that has proved to be a godsend to many suffering from poor vision. Traditional LASIK uses a small cutting tool, called a microkeratome, and laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. This allows the eye to focus light more correctly and reduces or eliminates many vision problems that would otherwise require corrective lenses.
What is Epi-LASIK?
Epi-LASIK is one of the latest innovations in LASIK technology. In Epi-LASIK, a thin flap is cut into the outer layer of the cornea. Normally, the surgeon uses a microkeratome or another laser.
In Epi-LASIK, the doctor employs an oscillating, plastic cutting tool called an epithelial separator. It's called this because the epithelial separator parts the free part of the flap from the eye. Epi-LASIK is an alternative to procedures that use alcohol, which may pose a danger to the epithelial cells.
Who is a Good Candidate for Epi-LASIK?
Steeper corneas make it more difficult to create the necessary flap, so the procedure is more effective for those with corneas that are less steep. Your doctor will tell you if he thinks Epi-LASIK is more appropriate for you than traditional LASIK. However, the Epi-LASIK procedure is typically for patients with very thin corneas.
It can also be a preferred option for those who run the risk of having their eye bumped or otherwise contacted during the healing process. The flap is held in place with a special contact lens to keep it in place and speed healing.
What Else is There to Know About Epi-LASIK?
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for care of your eyes after you have received the Epi-LASIK procedure. The final success of the procedure largely depends on how well the eyes heal from the process. Your doctor will inform you what you need to do to give yourself the opportunity for maximum healing and you should adhere to these directions rigidly.