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What is LASEK?

Advanced Surface Ablation or ASA is a method of laser vision correction without the need to cut a flap. ASA includes procedures such as LASEK (Laser-in-situ Epithelial Keratomileusis). This procedure involves softening or loosening the outer surface layer of the cornea (epithelium) with diluted alcohol. The corneal epithelium is then easily removed. The excimer laser is then used to treat the surface of the cornea directly and the amount of treatment is dependent on the individuals refractive error. At the end of the procedure, a soft bandage contact lens is applied to aid healing and improve comfort. The bandage lens may remain in place for up to a week depending on how quickly healing occurs. Visual recovery is slightly slower than with LASIK and there may be pain or discomfort while the eye is healing (3-4 days). The vast majority of patients achieve results equivalent to LASIK in the long term.
Who is suitable?

Advanced Surface Ablation or ASA is suitable for some patients such as those individuals with thin corneas and those with active/vigorous lifestyles such as military personnel, policemen or those involved in high impact contact sports.
What are the advantages?

The advantage of Advanced Surface Ablation or ASA is that less tissue is removed from the cornea by the laser compared to LASIK.

The ASA Process

The ASA procedure involves softening or loosening the outer surface layer of the cornea (epithelium) with diluted alcohol. The corneal epithelium is then easily removed. The excimer laser is then used to treat the surface of the cornea directly and the amount of treatment is dependent on the individuals refractive error. At the end of the procedure, a soft bandage contact lens is applied to aid healing and improve comfort.
FAQs

What is the main difference between LASEK and LASIK?
The main difference between LASEK and LASIK is that in LASEK, less corneal tissue is removed in the surgery compared to in LASIK. Instead of cutting a corneal flap (usually measuring 90 - 115 microns in thickness) as in LASIK, only the epithelial or surface layer of the cornea (measuring about 50 microns in thickness) is removed in LASEK. The epithelium (surface layer) of the cornea is first loosened by the application of diluted alcohol for about 60 seconds before it is removed during the surgery in LASEK. In modern LASIK surgery, the corneal flap is cut using a femtosecond laser (bladeless surgery).

How does this difference translate into the suitability of a particular individual for laser refractive surgery?
As LASEK consumes less corneal tissue than LASIK, it is suitable for individuals who have thin corneas and who are otherwise unsuitable for LASIK.

Are there any disadvantages of LASEK compared to LASIK? What is the recovery process like following LASEK surgery?
There are some disadvantages of LASEK compared to LASIK. Firstly, the visual recovery is slower in LASEK. Recovery to reasonably clear vision typically takes about 3 to 5 days in LASEK compared to about 1 day in LASIK. In LASEK, most patients may experience some eye pain for about one or two days after the surgery. This pain is usually relieved by taking analgesics (painkillers). By wearing a soft bandage contact lens for a few days, the eye pain is also greatly reduced in most patients such that sometimes, oral analgesics are even unnecessary. Because of the slower visual recovery process in LASEK, surgery on both eyes is usually done on different days as compared to in LASIK, where surgery on both eyes is performed routinely on the same day.

When can I return to work following LASEK surgery?
Depending on the specific occupational requirements of the patient, he or she can usually return to work about 5 to 7 days after undergoing LASEK surgery. This is slightly longer than in LASIK, where by the patient may return to work after 1 or 2 days following surgery.

When can I resume my normal sporting activities after LASEK surgery?
LASEK patients can resume their sports activities earlier than LASIK patients because as there is no corneal flap in LASEK, there is no danger of any flap complications that may arise due to accidental trauma to the eye. LASEK patients may resume a wide range of sporting activities, including contact sports, once the epithelial layer of the cornea has fully healed and they are no longer wearing the bandage contact lens. This typically occurs after 1 week.

When does long term visual recovery fully stabilize in LASEK as compared to LASIK?
The long term visual recovery process typically stabilizes at about 3 to 6 months following surgery in LASEK as compared to 1 to 2 months in LASIK.

How long must I apply eye drops following LASEK surgery to my eyes?
You will be prescribed a variety of eye drops following LASEK surgery. These eye drops consist of antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection, corticosteroid (steroid) eye drops to decrease inflammation and artificial tears eye drops to prevent dry eyes. After LASEK surgery, you are required to apply the steroid eye drops for at least one month. This is in contrast to LASIK surgery where by the antibiotic and steroid eye drops are applied only for one week following surgery.
Price

At the SNEC Laser Vision Centre, we are committed to providing quality and accessible ophthalmic eye care. Our rates are deliberated with the patient in mind.

For more information on financial options, please call 6322 8891.

We accept payment by Cash, NETS (Subject to daily limit), local cheques, debit.

Description Price* with 7%GST (per eye)
Pre-Consultation S$109.14
(Consultant)
S$123.05
(Senior Consultant)

LASEK Suitability Assessment

S$149.80

LASEK Surgery

S$1,926
(SNEC Assigned Doctor)
S$2,033
(Consultant)
S$2,140
(Senior Consultant)
NOTE:
  • Pricing for LASEK Surgery is inclusive of 1st day post-operative consultation and enhancement surgery (if recommended by primary surgeon within 2 years).
  • Prices indicated are correct as of 23rd June 2014 and may be subject to change without prior notice.
  • Price applicable for Singaporean, Permanent Resident and Employment Pass/Work Permit, Dependent Pass Holder or Long Term Visit Pass - Plus Holder.
  • A surcharge is applicable for Social Visit Pass Holder, Student Pass Holder, Long Term Visit Pass Holder and Tourists.
 

Singapore National Eye Centre
11 Third Hospital Avenue
Singapore 168751
Mondays - Fridays 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturdays 8.30am to 12.30pm
Sundays & Public Holidays - No clinic Session


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