Epi-LASIK: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

Epi-LASIK is a fairly new to the industry of laser eye surgery, but certainly the most advanced. It combines the best features of other laser refractive procedures, such as PRK, LASEK, and LASIK. Basically, this latest technique of eye surgery involves separating of epithelial tissue from the corneal surface. A tool called epikeratome is used rather than a blade slicing deep into the corneal layers to create a flap, like what LASIK surgery does. The acronym Epi-LASIK means “Epi” for Epithelial and LASIK for Laser in Situ Keratomileusis.

Here are some of the most asked questions by Singapore patients who wish to undergo the most advanced laser eye surgery.

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1. “What is the difference of Epi-LASIK from PRK?”

Both Epi-LASIK and PRK performs the treatment on the corneal surface, but with PRK the corneal surface layer is cut and removed, which results to a much longer healing period compared to the other laser eye surgery. Furthermore, the latest laser refractive method doesn’t use alcohol solution during the surgical process and lesser post-operative complications are reported by Singapore patients compared to PRK.

2. “What should I expect during the surgery?”

Epi-LASIK usually takes 10 minutes to perform. You will be prepared by numbing your eye with anesthetic drops and holding your eye open with a special eye tool. Your Singapore ophthalmologist like clear lasik by tony ho in Singapore will then use an oscillating blade to gently create an epithelium flap on top of your cornea. Then, the flap is folded out of the way and the cornea is reshaped with an eye laser tool. After which, epithelium flap is returned to its position and a special lens is placed atop the eye to act as a bandage.

3.  “What should I expect after the surgery?

Epi-LASIK’s recovery time is usually longer than traditional LASIK surgery. After the procedure, your eye surgeon will place a special contact lens on the surface of your cornea to protect the newly operated eye. After three days, you can already remove the contacts and may have nearly perfect sight, or could also take a week or more to stabilize. It may take up to more than a week before you will be able to drive. During the post-operative period, you may experience some discomfort, which should be manageable through medications.

4. “How fast will I recover?”

The recovery period from Epi-LASIK surgery may actually be longer than conventional LASIK, but definitely shorter that other types of laser eye surgeries. With LASIK, Singapore patients may notice improvements hours after surgery and may regain functional vision the next day. With the newer eye surgery, it may take a week until you will be able to gain back your driving sight. However, this surgery has lesser discomfort during post-operative period compared to LASEK and PRK.

5. “What benefits will I experience with Epi-LASIK?”

Epi-LASIK is considered much safer than traditional LASIK surgery because of it is not as invasive. Singapore surgeons only cut smaller amount of corneal tissue and the eye completely heals afterwards.

The newest technology is also an advancement to give chance to Singapore patients with abnormal or thin corneas and dry eye conditions to correct their vision. Though the recovery time of the newest surgical procedure is much longer than LASIK, it is shorter compared to PRK and other laser refractive procedures. Most Singapore patients who had the surgery before have also reported that they have experienced minimal to no pain and less “dry eye” conditions during their recovery.

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