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LASEK offers the benefits of laser eye surgery with fewer risks and complications than LASIK, making laser eye surgery a more practical option for more people than ever before.

What is LASEK Eye Surgery?

LASEK eye surgery, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Epithelial Keratomileusis, is a variation of LASIK that involves the creation of a thin epithelial flap with an alcohol solution, rather than the thicker corneal flap created with a microkeratome during laser vision correction with LASIK. This avoids some flap-related complications. After the creation of the flap, the laser eye surgeon ablates the underlying corneal tissue much like LASIK and PRK. The flap is then replaced and smoothed over.

Who is a Good Candidate for LASEK Eye Surgery?

LASEK eye surgery is recommended for patients with thin corneas because it saves about 160 microns more corneal tissue than LASIK. It is important to note that this laser vision correction procedure is an “off-label" use of the excimer laser, meaning that the FDA has not yet approved it. However, many ophthalmologists consider LASEK eye surgery the best vision correction option for some patients.


The cost of LASEK is similar to the cost of LASIK; typically about $1,000 to $2,300 for traditional LASEK or $2,500 to $4,000 for custom LASEK.

LASEK Eye Surgery Risks and Benefits

Complications associated with LASEK eye surgery are rare, and there is less risk of complications than with LASIK because there is no incision made in the cornea. Complications include:

  • Post-operative haze
  • Corneal scarring
  • Blurred vision

Patients have had marvelous results with LASEK eye surgery with few instances of major complications. The benefits of LASEK eye surgery include:

  • Offers a laser eye surgery option to patients who are not good candidates for LASIK
  • No incision made in the cornea
  • Shorter recovery time than PRK
  • Better results than PRK
  • Results comparable to LASIK


LASEK has made laser eye surgery available to many people who were not good candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas or large pupils. If you are a candidate for both LASIK and LASEK eye surgery and need to decide which is right for you, below is an outline of the benefits of each surgery.

LASIK Eye Surgery

  • Wider range of suitable refractions: +5.00D to -12.00D (LASEK: +4.00D to -8.00D)
  • Shorter recovery time: One day (LASEK three to four days)
  • Shorter visual recovery time: One day (LASEK one to three days)
  • Vision stabilizes sooner with high corrections
  • Less discomfort after surgery if there are no complications

LASEK Eye Surgery

  • Fewer complications/ less risk of failure
  • No corneal incision
  • Cornea is not weakened (the flap created by LASIK surgery can remain for up to seven years, making LASIK too risky for athletes, fighter pilots, or anyone who is at risk for corneal trauma)
  • Easier to perform - no assistant required
  • Easier for surgeons to learn - shorter learning curve
  • Can be performed more than once

Custom LASEK Eye Surgery

Every eye is different, and with the new custom LASEK eye surgery, your procedure can be microscopically tailored to your eye. Wavefront laser technology makes it possible!

How Wavefront™ technology works:

  • A laser with a flat surface is shined into your eye and reflected back to a computer
  • As the laser passes through your eye, the flat laser surface is changed by the microscopic irregularities of your cornea
  • A computer analyzes the changes in the flat front of the laser and creates a topographical Wavefront™ image of your cornea
  • This custom made topographical image guides the laser during your LASEK eye surgery

Custom LASEK eye surgery with Wavefront™ technology allows for the most reliable and most accurate laser eye surgeries ever performed.

Find a LASEK Specialist Through DocShop

LASEK makes laser eye surgery available to more people than ever. Whether you’ve been advised against LASIK, or you’re concerned about the risks involved with LASIK, LASEK eye surgery could be the answer. To find out if LASEK eye surgery is right for you, contact a doctor in your area today!

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