It is likely that Epi-LASIK is the most desirable choice for laser eye surgery. Dr. Birchansky at Fox Eye Laser & Cosmetic Institute was the first to introduce this advanced technology to Iowa, making him one of the most experienced Epi-LASIK surgeons in the state.
During the first step of Epi-LASIK, Dr. Birchansky uses a sophisticated, automated device to separate and push aside the top layer of corneal cells, which is called the epithelium. Next, Dr. Birchansky uses Wavefront Optimization™to treat the exposed corneal tissue. In effect, this makes the correction as it reshapes the cornea. During the final step, a clear, soft contact, which acts as a bandage for a 5-6 day period, is placed on the cornea.
The benefits of Epi-LASIK include excellent visual outcomes, typically little post-operative pain, less dry eye complications, and greater safety in treating higher prescriptions with thin corneas.
In contrast to Epi-LASIK, LASIK involves a surgically created flap. This is problematic because the majority of post-operative LASIK complications are flap related (flap slippage, folds/wrinkles, inflammation, etc.). LASIK flaps can also induce aberrations, like glare and halos around lights. Since Epi-LASIK does not have a corneal flap and thus cannot have flap related complications, it is an inherently safer procedure.
All of these benefits not only make Epi-LASIK the preferred procedure, but also the way of the future.