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What is Epi Lasik?

Epi LASIK is an acronym of Epithelial Laser In Situ Keratomileusis, which can also be referred to as Surface LASIK since “Epi” is the medical term for “surface.” Epi-LASIK is a surface based lasik surgery procedure. By employing the surface based procedure, correcting your vision will only involve the sculpting the front surface of your cornea with excimer laser. This helps to protect the structural integrity of the cornea and prevent a devastating complication called Cornea Ectasia. It is an advanced type of refractive surgery technique to correct astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness. This technique is designed to make a person less dependent on contact lenses and eyeglasses.

Epi-LASIK is becoming the permanent and much embraced solution to one’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses worldwide. Epi-LASIK is an innovated form of treatment evolved from the procedure Photo-refractive Keratectomy (PRK). Way back in the early 1980s when PRK was developed, it was already thought of as a safer, no-cut, no-flap method that leaves the cornea stronger after surgery. It was then already preferable to LASIK in cases of thin cornea or with patients who desired to pursue highly-physical sports and activities.

What Is The Difference Between Epi Or Surface LASIK & Regular LASIK?

Epi LasikThe layer of the cornea to which the laser is applied is what distinguishes Epi or Surface LASIK from regular LASIK. In Epi or Surface LASIK, an ophthalmologist or eye surgeon applies the laser to the surface of the cornea’s permanent layers. In regular LASIK, the opthamologist applies the laser to the cornea’s deeper permanent layers. However, CustomVue/WaveScan pre-operation measuring technique is the same for both procedures. The precision with which the laser treatment is applied with 3-D active eye tracking and Iris Registration is also the same.

What Are The Advantages Of Epi LASIK Over Regular LASIK?

Epi or Surface LASIK holds two major advantages of regular LASIK, which are:

i) It is safer in dry eyes since lesser damage is caused to corneal nerve
ii) It may still be an option even if cornea is too thin for LASIK

Do The Complications Between Epi Or Surface LASIK & Regular LASIK Vary?

The good thing is that both types of LASIK are very safe, and complications rarely occur. In regular LASIK, a cut has to be made into the cornea to make a flap. Generally, it is because of this flap that is created that may rarely lead to complications. These complications can be avoided with Epi or Surface LASIK.

How Soon Is The Vision After The Procedure Good Enough To Be Able To Drive?

After undergoing regular LASIK, a person can very quickly return to normal activities. For most patients, driving a car may become possible the very next day. After undergoing Epi or Surface LASIK surgery, it takes time for the surface to heal, which means that driving is not recommended until 4 to 5 days.

Does Epi Or Surface LASIK Cause The Same Level Of Dryness As Regular LASIK?
Usually, for a month or two, LASIK causes dryness and the use of moisturizing drops is required. Nonetheless, there is no long-term dryness in most patients. In Epi LASIK, after 1 or 2 weeks, a person no longer experiences any dryness.

What Types Of Patients Usually Undergo Epi Or Surface LASIK?

Undergoing Epi or Surface LASIK may become necessary due to certain eye conditions, such as dry eyes, strong prescriptions and thin corneas. Patients may also opt for it instead of LASIK if they want to avoid additional risks and maximize the safety. A patient who wants to undergo this procedure must also be willing to wait before returning to normal activities so their eyes can heal.

Is Any Pain Experienced During Epi Or Surface LASIK?

No pain whatsoever is experienced during or after the surgery, although scratchiness in the eyes may be felt, and that is why a person does not have to take any pain medicines.

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