Epi-LASIK is the latest development in the field of corrective refractive surgeries. It is derived from the original LASIK procedure and is considered a derivative of both LASIK and LASEK procedures.
The major difference between LASIK and Epi-LASIK is the way in which laser is used in the reshaping of cornea. In LASIK, the laser is used to cut a flap in cornea. This carries risks of damage to cornea and introduction of refractive errors because of too thin or too thick flaps.
In Epi-LASIK, the procedure involves direct application of laser to the surface of the eye. This reduces the level of risks that are associated with the procedure. In many cases, Epi-LASIK is considered safer than LASIK.
The procedure begins with separating the epithelial cells from the surface of the cornea. This delicate procedure is often accomplished using a blunt plastic blade. Next, laser is used to reshape the cornea. Finally, the surgeon closes the wound with a clear contact lens. This special contact lens is highly permeable to oxygen and protects the eye during the healing process. The procedure does not take long and the operation is usually over in twenty minutes. The result is clear 20/220 vision that frees the patient from dependency on prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Since its introduction, the procedure has become very popular amongst doctors because of its simplicity, effectiveness and quick healing of cornea after the operation. Since there is no cutting of the cornea involves, there is lesser chance of infection and other complications to arise.