the eye institute of west florida

LASIK Alternatives and Treatments

LASEK (Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy)

LASEK is a suitable alternative to LASIK when the cornea is too thin to create an acceptable flap using the microkeratome. In LASEK, the epithelium, or outermost layer of the cornea, is covered with an alcohol solution. Your surgeon will loosen the edges of the epithelium creating a flap. Using a tiny instrument, the flap is gently folded back out of the way. The excimer laser applies a cool beam of light, which gently reshapes the cornea allowing images to be more sharply focused by the retina to correct the individual refractive error. After the cornea is reshaped, the epithelium is returned back to its original position. A contact lens is placed on the cornea for a minimum of three days to aid in the healing of the cornea.


Epi-LASIK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) is for patients who might otherwise not be good candidates for LASIK due to a flat, steep or thin cornea or patients whose epithelium has the potential for an epithelial slide. While Epi-LASIK is the best option for patients like these, this procedure may be a suitable option for a wide range of patients.

Rather than using an alcohol solution to loosen the epithelium as in LASEK, our surgeon uses a special blade to separate the epithelial sheet from the eye with its hinge intact and gently lifts and folds it out of the way. With an excimer laser, a cool beam of light is applied to the cornea to reshape its surface to allow images to focus sharply on the retina, correcting the individual’s refractive error. The surgeon will then gently lift the epithelial flap and folded it back over the cornea with a spatula-like instrument and the eye heals within a few days.

Visian ICLVisian ICL

What is the Visian ICL
The Visian ICL, also known as the implantable Collamer lens, is a type of refractive procedure to help correct nearsightedness. For years, the only method that didn’t involve glasses or contacts was corrective laser eye surgery. With the advent of the Visian ICL, however, that’s all changed. For people who value health and wellness, the Visian ICL could be the choice for you. The Collamer base of the lens material is 100% biocompatible, meaning it is designed to function in harmony with your body’s chemistry.

Good Candidates for the Visian ICL
If you are between the ages of 21 and 45, nearsighted, and have had stable vision for a year, you are an excellent candidate for the Visian ICL. The Visian ICL is made to help correct patients with low myopia (-3 diopters) to high myopia (-20 diopters). Not only is the Visian ICL good for candidates with high myopia, but it may be the perfect option for people who are suffering from severe dry eyes or have thin corneas. The Visian ICL is a simple 15-minute outpatient procedure that has a fast recovery time. One main difference that separates Visian ICL from LASIK and PRK is that the Visian ICL does not use a laser to reshape the corneal surface of your eyes.

Recovery Time
The recovery time for the Visian ICL is very quick and comfortable and maybe as little as a day, due to the very small size of the incision required. The incision needed to implant the foldable Visian ICL is tiny and located on the far edge of the cornea, where there is little danger of it interfering with vision. Once the lens is implanted, sutures are typically not needed to close the incision, further simplifying the procedure.

Precise vision correction with a legacy of success.
Visian ICL has been approved in Europe since 1997 and in the U.S. since 2005. In that time, over 550,000 eyes have been implanted with Visian ICLs by certified, specialized surgeons with a study showing a 99% patient satisfaction rate.

There are many LASIK options to improve your vision and get out of glasses for good. Call (727) 581-8706 or click here to schedule a consultation today!

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