Which is the Better option: LASIK or LASEK Eye Surgery? - SightMD Skip to main content

April 28, 2023

By: Jordan Garelick, MD

Which is the Better option: LASIK or LASEK Eye Surgery?

guy looking through his glasses

Most of you are familiar with the term “LASIK eye surgery” – even if you’ve never undergone the procedure. And the title above is no mistake. There is such a thing as “LASEK” surgery for the eyes. (As if the world of eye care wasn’t complicated enough!) Let’s take a look at the differences—aside from replacing the letter “I” with and “E”—to decide whether or not one is better than the other.

LASIK or LASEK eye surgery: Which is better?

For a refresher or reminder, “LASIK eye surgery”—also known as “laser eye surgery”—is an operation that can correct a variety of vision problems that include near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and is even a cure for astigmatism. In LASIK eye surgery, the cornea of the eye is reshaped to improve vision, and quite often, patients who choose this procedure will no longer need to rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses—or at least not to the extent they did.

Now, “LASEK eye surgery” has many of the benefits as “LASIK” or other vision correction surgeries. “LASEK” (which is short for laser epithelial keratomileusis) in fact is a combination of LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy – another procedure which improves vision through the reshaping of the cornea.

The difference between the two procedures is that a thicker flap is created to cover and protect the cornea after a LASIK operation, while sophisticated techniques are applied in LASEK eye surgery that retain the thin corneal layer of cells.

As to which is the better surgery…

Where LASEK has advantages over LASIK…

  • Dry eyes tend to accompany a LASIK operation more frequently than from a LASEK procedure.
  • Since the cornea is retained, there are no complications that come with creating and attaching a flap in LASIK.

Where LASIK has advantages over LASEK…

  • Recuperation time from a LASIK procedure is shorter than a LASEK operation, which can take anywhere from one-to-two weeks.
  • A LASIK procedure is not as uncomfortable or painful as LASEK, where patients will need to wear a “bandage contact lens” for three or four days after the operation.

So, there are two instances of pros and cons to both operations. If you are considering this type of surgery and are unsure of which to undergo, it’s best to consult with your eye care professional who has the training and expertise to provide the best advice. Give SightMD a call at 1.855.295.4144 to make an appointment. LASIK, or LASEK? Don’t worry. We’ll help you figure out the best procedure for you.