What is EPI - LASIK?
EPI - LASIK is a newly developed laser eye surgery method to address the outstanding issues of LASIK and LASEK surgery. EPI - LASIK is considered as an intersection of the two surgeries but different in some key points.
In LASIK, the surgeon creates a corneal flap with a sharp microblade or with a laser. However, this method bears the risk of cutting the flap too thick. Although recently many new techniques such as LASIK (Bladeless LASIK) have been developed in order to tackle this risk.
LASEK involves splitting the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) into a thin sheet above the eye. EPI - LASIK has the same methodology, but the surgeon uses an automatic motor-driven prison blade instead of a manual like LASEK.
In addition, instead of using alcohol to loosen the epithelial flap in LASEK, EPI - LASIK uses a specialized blade, called an epithelial separator, to separate the epithelial sheet from the eye. Thereby avoiding the toxic reactions occured from alcohol that cause epithelial cell death.
After the epithelial flap is created, the laser excimer is used as in LASIK and PRK to project into the corneal tissue below. A special type of contact lens is placed on the eye to help the eye become thorn , irritable, promote wound healing, and help the epithelium to quickly regenerate. The surgeon uses high Dk type contact lenses in this case, which means that oxygen is very well exchanged through the lenses.
After Epi surgery – LASIK
After the third day, the epithelial reconstruction is complete. Therefore, the doctor can remove the contact lenses.
Your vision may not be optimal right away. In 3 days, many patients have vision 20/40 or even 20/20 but others may take longer up to 3 or 6 months - to achieve the ultimate vision. Most likely you can drive 1 week after surgery.
The recovery takes longer than LASIK. LASIK patients usually have good vision after a few days to a few weeks and can drive one day after surgery.
Like other laser surgeries, it is very important to follow your doctor's instructions after Epi - LASIK because the final quality of vision you gain is affected by excessive scar healing process. Do not stop using eye drops or other medications that your doctor has prescribed and do not forget any follow-up visits.
Patient that can be compatible with Epi – LASIK
If you are interested in LASIK but your doctor says you need Epi - LASIK surgery, you must ask why. This surgery does not apply to everyone but many surgeons who have performed Epi - LASIK consider it a better and safer option than LASIK for some patients. These patients included people with thin corneas with corneal tissue insufficient for flap formation in LASIK.

Epi - LASIK may also be safer than LASIK for people with a strong career or lifestyle, active sports, and injury (hitting) in the eyes (such as soldiers, police, boxing) and those who like sports that use racquets because there is no risk of being flipped.

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