1What is Epi-LASIK?
Epi-LASIK is a surgical procedure wherein the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is mechanically removed. This is followed by laser treatment to the top of the underlying stroma or middle layer of the cornea.
2Am I a candidate for Epi-LASIK surgery?
You must come in the office for a screening or exam to determine if you are a candidate. There are many tests and exam features that determine if you are eligible. Just about all LASIK candidates are Epi-LASIK candidates. In fact, if you were told your corneas are too thin for LASIK, there is a good chance you will be a candidate for Epi-LASIK.
3Does Epi-LASIK surgery correct only nearsightedness?
Epi-LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
4What kind of results can I expect?
You can expect very good results (the same or better than LASIK), however, every patient is different and no surgical procedure is perfect. There are many factors that contribute to your results. These include (but are not limited to) your age, your prescription, gender, general health and specific measurements of your eye. Additionally, there is preliminary evidence that Epi-LASIK may offer better long-term results than LASIK.
5How can I evaluate an eye surgeon?
You want to make sure your surgeon is experienced in ocular refractive procedures and is board certified. Is the doctor committed to his patients before, during and after the procedure? How long has the doctor been in the community? Does he/she have a good reputation in the community?
6Will I be awake during my surgery?
You will be awake but will feel very little because your eyes are completely anesthetized. We can give you a mild sedative before the procedure.
7What happens during the recovery period?
You will wear a contact lens for about 4 days as the eye heals. Your vision will be a little blurry but you will be functional. Most patients can return to work on post-op day #4. If you have the surgery Thursday you will probably be able to return to work on Monday.
8How soon will my eyes stabilize?
It takes about 4-5 days to see pretty well and about a month to see very well to excellent.
9 Will I need glasses after the procedure?
Most patients will not have to wear glasses, at all, after surgery. If you are over 40, and have the Epi-LASIK procedure there is a strong chance that you will need glasses for reading. Keep in mind that if you did NOT have Epi-LASIK and are over 40, you will need reading glasses over you contact lenses, need bifocals, or have to take off your glasses to read. This is a natural result of aging eyes.
10What are the risks of Epi-LASIK surgery?
There are very few risks to Epi-LASIK compared to LASIK. Epi-LASIK is safer. However, like all procedures there is a risk of infection or results that are not quite what the doctor or the patient had anticipated. I am performing only Epi-LASIK because I believe there is very little that can go wrong during and after the procedure especially regarding the LASIK flap. As I stated before, preliminary results demonstrate that Epi-LASIK results are better than LASIK.
11Is the laser FDA approved?
12Does Epi-LASIK surgery cause night blindness?
You may see some halos around lights but I have never seen a patient develop night blindness. Some of these side effects are dependent on the amount of laser treatment needed.
13Does Epi-LASIK surgery cause dry eyes?
Epi-LASIK causes less dry eye than LASIK because it does not cut the deeper corneal nerves that contribute to the development of dry eye. This is another advantage to Epi-LASIK.
14What do we know about long-term effects?
We know that the long-term effects of PRK are excellent with little chance of corneal compromise. PRK is the procedure that started laser refractive surgery and is very similar to Epi-LASIK. Epi-LASIK is simply a more elegant, more refined, high-tech way of performing PRK. With Epi-LASIK, because the treatment is so superficial (like PRK), we know it is very safe with good, long-term results. For more information, please click here.
15Does insurance cover the procedure?
Some insurances help with the procedure cost. This will be explored prior to the procedure.