LASIK and LASEK both use excimer lasers to reshape part of the cornea to correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism. Both will achieve the same final vision result, but the recovery differs between these two procedures.
The benefit of LASIK is the shorter healing time than a surface laser treatment like LASEK. This is because, during LASEK surgery, the surgeon needs to remove the surface layer at the front of the eye to reshape the tissue beneath. This is then replaced to allow it to regrow over a period of a week or so during which your vision gradually improves.
Transepithelial PRK (TransPRK), a newer version of LASEK, is a ‘no-touch’ technique for surface laser treatments in which the laser light is applied directly to the surface of the eye without the need to remove the surface layer manually. Vision recovery after LASEK or TransPRK is slower compared with LASIK, and the first 24 hours can be painful.
Most people are suitable for LASIK surgery but some may find they are not due to pre-existing conditions or unique characteristics of their eye. LASEK may be recommended for those with pre-existing medical conditions, thinner corneas, or higher prescriptions for short-sightedness. Your surgeon will discuss your options with you during your initial consultation.