Laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) or PRK

The vast majority of laser refractive surgical procedures carried out today are LASIK or SMILE, however, if the cornea is thinner than average, and where it would be difficult to treat all of the refractive error using LASIK, a different method termed LASEK can be adopted.

What is LASEK?

LASEK (laser assisted epithelial keratomileusis) is essentially a variation of PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy – Epithelium is removed) but, instead of a LASIK corneal flap being fashioned, a thin layer of surface corneal epithelial cells is moved to one side and the laser treatment is then applied to the exposed corneal surface. The epithelial cells are then replaced and a soft ‘bandage’ contact lens is inserted to protect this cell layer. This lens is removed 5 days later. LASEK can be thought of as ‘a half-way house’ between PRK and LASIK and is significantly more uncomfortable than LASIK in the first post-operative week. If the epithelial cells come loose in the first few days the eye becomes painful in much the same way that it would have been following standard PRK.

Visual recovery is also delayed as compared with LASIK and the quality of vision within the first week after the operation is poor.

Benefits for you

The vast majority of patients who undergo LASEK achieve exceptional results without developing post-surgical complications. The results achieved through LASEK are comparable to those achieved through traditional LASIK. One of the biggest benefits of LASEK is that patients who are not candidates for LASIK because of thin corneas or large pupils are usually good candidates for LASEK. Through LASEK, flap-related complications are avoided. Another benefit of LASEK is that dry eye occurs less frequently than with traditional LASIK. Patients experience a shorter healing time and less pain, and achieve better results than with PRK. LASEK may also be performed more than once if necessary. Because the cornea is not weakened, LASEK may be ideal (in situations where SMILE can’t be performed) for athletes, fighter pilots, and other patients at a high risk for trauma or injury to the eye.

Am I suitable for LASEK eye surgery?

We analyse your eyes in exquisite detail, and customise treatments for each individual eye.

Every individual is different, and the surgeon will be able to give you a final decision on whether laser eye surgery is right for you. For example, if you have dry eyes, the severity of your condition will determine whether you can have laser eye surgery. For women who are breastfeeding, you will generally be allowed to have treatment three months after weaning. Most people with diabetes or glaucoma will not be suitable for treatment, due to there being a higher likelihood of complications. However, do not hesitate to get in touch for a consultation to discuss your specific case in further detail.


LASEK eye procedure is carried out under a topical anaesthesia positioned straight into the patient`s eye. The procedure begins by treatment of the epithelium or outer layer of cells using alcohol for duration of about 30 seconds to detach it from the primary tissue. After this step, the epithelium is then rolled or lifted back to allow the doctor to get entrance the cornea tissue. This newly uncovered tissue is treated using a laser similar to that used in PRK and LASIK eye surgery. Finally, the outer layer of cells or epithelium is replaced, after which the procedure is considered complete.

Your Journey

We have designed our eye surgery pathway to give you adequate space to consider your options without any pressure to sign up for any treatment.

The first step is to call us

Nuffield directly on 0300 790 6190
Mr Anandan’s Secretary Sue Da Silva on 07900210191 or email

There is no obligation and we will be very pleased to give you information about all vision correction options, answer your questions and organise your suitability assessment.

Suitability Assessment

Assessment is with our expert optometrist. This normally takes an hour. Our optometrist will perform various eligibity tests and measurements and may be able to advise you on what is likely to be the best treatment option for you. At this visit our team will take you through our process, and give you our range of fees and affordable payment and finance options.

You will be given written information guides for the relevant procedures. Our optometrists can also organise an appointment for you to see our surgeon Mr Anandan for your comprehensive vision surgery consultation.

Consultation with Mr Anandan

The consultation with Mr Anandan is the defining stage of the process. The consultation includes a full and comprehensive assessment of your eyes and general health. Mr Anandan will then make his recommendation as to what in his professional opinion is the best vision correction surgery option for you, and explain the reasons behind that recommendation. You will be encouraged to ask questions and your queries will be answered fully. You will leave the consultation with an excellent understanding of all the issues relevant to your treatment to make an informed choice.

Aftercare is an extremely important part of your laser eye surgery treatment. After the treatment, your eyes are very sensitive, so protecting them is critical to ensure you reduce the risks of complications, and see the best results possible.

At LVCND, we are proud to offer a well-rounded after care programme to all our laser eye surgery patients to ensure that every individual gets back on their feet, complication free, and in no time at all.

Each laser eye surgery treatment has different recovery periods, however the following guidance will give you a broad understanding of the laser eye surgery aftercare process.

After your treatment, you will be required to stay in the hospital, until you feel completely comfortable to make your way home. It is against the law to drive immediately after, so make sure you have organised transport, or have a family member or friend with you, to help you get home.

Try to avoid having a shower immediately following your treatment, and during the first day of your recovery. We also advise not going into work for 1 – 2 days after your treatment, especially following LASIK, ReLEx SMILE or LASEK, to give your eyes the best chance to fully heal.

No matter where you work, your eyes will be exposed to different types of strain, so if you do need to venture outside try to stay close to home, just in case you feel any discomfort.

During the first few days of your aftercare, you may be required to attend a follow-up exam. During this appointment, Mr Anandan will review your eye health and determine if you will be able to drive and use gadgets, such as mobile phones and tablets. On average, most patients will be back on the road within the first couple of days, however we highly recommend waiting at least a week before exposing your eyes to smart phones and computers.

During the first week, it is crucial that you reduce the chances of exposing your eyes to irritation. For instance, do not wear any eye make-up, apply any products around your eyes, or get soap or water in your eyes. Try to avoid being around smoke or people who smoke. This is also the case for dust as this can increase the temptation and chances of rubbing your eyes. Rubbing your eyes during the first stages of aftercare can cause severe discomfort and increases the risk of complications.

After day 3, your eyes will have recovered enough for you to start exercising again, such as going on the treadmill or going on a bike ride. However, we advise waiting at least a week before practicing yoga and aerobic exercises. If you weight lift, we advise waiting at least two weeks before continuing with your exercise routine. Weight lifting adds strain to lots of your muscles, including your eyes, so it is best to allow as long as possible for the eyes to recover before participating in this sort of exercise training.

After a month, your eyes will be well on the road to recovery and will have adjusted enough to enjoy sports such as tennis, football, swimming, cricket and snowboarding. We advise waiting at least a month after your procedure before using a steam room or sauna.

If you are planning on travelling or going on holiday soon after your laser eye surgery, we recommend waiting at least 10 days before taking a trip away. However, the longer you can wait to travel, the more time your eyes will have to heal and there will be a minimal risk of complications.

We understand that every individual is different, so understanding how best to look after your eyes after your treatment is crucial. If you have any other questions regarding your recovery, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.



1st Generation Surface laser surgery

£1,500 per eye

Contact details

Laser co-ordinator on 08006 125 175
Or Nuffield direct on 0300 790 6190
Or Mr Anandan’s Secretary Sue Da Silva on 07900210191 or email

Nuffield Health Derby Hospital. 
Rykneld Road, 
DE23 4SN

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