Wavefront Epi-LASIK (also known as Advanced Surface Ablation, Photo Refractive Keratectomy, PRK, and LASEK) is a popular “bladeless” laser vision correction procedure, which does not require making a LASIK flap or using ANY sharp instruments during the procedure. Rather than creating a LASIK flap, the surface epithelial skin cells are brushed away with a “soft brush” before the excimer laser reshapes the exposed surface of the cornea.
In Epi-LASIK, the actual procedure is completely painless, but patients usually report moderate discomfort during the first 3-4 days, as the corneal epithelial skin cells heal over the laser-treatment area.
Though LASIK’s fast recovery time offers some distinct advantages over Epi-LASIK, including faster healing and less discomfort, Epi-LASIK may be the treatment of choice in certain clinical scenarios. While we strive for an ideal patient experience, we always prioritize long-term safety over achieving an instant recovery. Also, some patients who were previously unable to have LASIK may be able to have laser vision correction with Epi-LASIK.