LASIK vs LASEK – Learn the difference

Lasik vs Lasek

With all the great advancements in the field of ophthalmology over the past few decades, more and more individuals are deciding to rid themselves of the hassle that glasses and contacts cause. Deciding to undergo laser eye surgery is an important decision and the first step you should take is to consult with your eye doctor about your potential options. In the meantime, here is some information about a potential option that you may not have heard of. LASEK eye surgery is a variation of PRK surgery that patients who are not great candidates for LASIK surgery can undergo. The difference between LASIK and LASEK is how the cornea is manipulated during the surgery. Here is a brief overview of LASIK vs. LASEK.

The Procedures

In LASIK eye surgery, the eye surgeon creates a thin flap in the cornea that is then folded back in order to access the corneal stroma tissue below. The surgeon reshapes the inner cornea to correct for the refractive vision errors. Once the cornea has been reshaped, the cornea flap is then replaced to its original position and acts as a natural bandage, allowing the eye to heal.

LASEK eye surgery is almost a combination of PRK and LASIK. In LASEK, the surgeon will separate the top cornea layer (epithelium) from the underlying stroma layer, similar to the PRK procedure. However, instead of completely removing the top layer (like in PRK), the surgeon will push the thin layer to one side of the cornea, similar in LASIK. Once the cornea has been properly reshaped, the thin layer is then positioned back into its original place.


While both procedures are extremely successful, certain patients are better candidates for one over the other. The biggest difference between LASIK and LASEK is the thickness of the corneal “flap” that is created. The LASEK procedure only utilizes the epithelial tissue compared to LASIK that cuts the epithelium and corneal stroma tissue to form the flap (much thicker). Candidates that have either too thin or too flat of corneas make much better candidates for LASEK due to the thickness of “flap” that is necessary to access the underlying corneal stroma. LASEK preserves more corneal tissue, eliminates any potential complications with the corneal stroma flap that may occur in LASIK, fewer haze issues and less risk of dry eyes than compared to LASIK patients. However, the healing process is slightly longer with LASEK than compared to LASIK. The “flap” edges begin to heal within a day and patients can get back to driving within the first week. Clear vision is usually expected in about 6-8 weeks after surgery.


Both LASIK and LASEK correct for refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Each procedure lasts approximately 15 minutes per eye and is an outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. The success rate for each procedure is extremely high and the eye surgeon will conduct extensive screenings to decide which procedure would be best for each individual patient. With that being said, LASIK is still the most popular option for those individuals looking to correct their vision.

Each surgery has extremely high success rates that produce exceptional results for the patients looking to enhance their vision and eliminate their need for contacts and glasses. As said before, it is always best to discuss your options with your eye doctor and undergo the screening process to determine the best possible procedure for you specifically. For the best laser eye surgeons in the Tri-State area, schedule your consultation with Diamond Vision today. Schedule your consultation at one of 9 Diamond Vision locations! One of our best-known clinics is the Atlanta Lasik Eye Surgery Center.


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If you have more questions about LASIK procedures, get in touch with us.

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