Epi-lasik or PRK?

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Epi-lasik or PRK?

Postby anny » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:37 pm

I had my procedure done 5 days ago now (monovision, epi-lasik) and, apart from the first couple of days when I felt pretty miserable, I have had little pain, more discomfort. My question is more curiosity than practical, really. I understand that epi-lasik is pushing part of the epithelium to one side with a blunt microkeratome, lasering the cornea then replacing the epithelial 'flap' to act as a bandage, and the bandage lens on top. However, the assistant mentioned 'discarding the flap' when she ran me thro the procedure beforehand, so I questioned the surgeon afterwards. He said he'd found it better for the patient not to replace the flap as it regenerates quicker, which seems to fit everything I've read. But doesn't this mean that I've had PRK instead, and does that alter my healing expectations from Epi-lasik? I'm quite happy with the results so far, just not quite sure which procedure I've had!
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Postby LasikExpert » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:17 pm

PRK requires the removal of the epithelium, which is the outermost layer of the cornea that quickly regenerates. This removal can be peformed by simply scraping off the epithelium, applying an alcohol solution to disrupt the epithelium and then scrape it off, or using an Epi-Lasik epikeratome to "shave" up the epithelium. If the epithelium was discarded, then you had PRK no matter how the epithelium was removed.

Although Epi-Lasik has many proponents, recent studies indicate that it provides little or no benefit compared to PRK. Many doctors perceive a benefit, but studies do not support that perception.

Some doctors believe that the epikeratome removes the epithelium in a less traumatic fashion compared to scraping or alcohol, but there does not seem to be much science to back that opinion either.
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