Charlotte, NC (January 2002) – A Charlotte man is among the first in this region to have LASEK, an alternative to the popular LASIK laser vision correction procedure. LASEK, spelled with an “E” rather than an “I” stands for Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis, a relatively new alternative in laser vision correction that may benefit some laser vision correction patients who are not candidates for LASIK.
The LASEK procedure is of particular benefit to laser vision correction patients with thin corneas or certain corneal disorders that preclude LASIK.
“The patient, Stephen Smith, was not a candidate for LASIK because his refractive error was high in relation to his corneal thickness. I didn’t feel satisfied that he had enough corneal tissue to make it a good option for him,” said Dr. George Tate, the TLC Laser Eye Center Medical Director and Surgeon who performed the LASEK procedure. “LASEK offered him the right treatment for his eyes, so he could enjoy the benefits of laser vision correction safely and effectively.” In LASEK, a very thin flap in the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is created and lifted before a laser is used to gently reshape the surface and correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The flap is replaced and the patient gets a contact lens bandage to wear while the eye heals by regrowing epithelial cells.