What are the differences between LASEK and LASIK?


When it comes to laser eye surgery treatment, one of the things that confuses a lot of people is the difference between the two types of laser eye treatment that are available LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) and LASEK (Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy).

When patients begin to research the possibility of laser eye surgery in their case, the two different types of treatment can cause confusion. There are important differences between the two sorts of treatment, and it is wise to do some reading up on the similarities and differences before approaching a surgeon for an initial consultation.

What is Laser Eye Surgery?

Before going into the details of difference between LASIK and LASEK, it is important to understand the concept of laser eye surgery in general.

Laser eye surgery is the process of reshaping the clear layer of your eye which is also known as the cornea, with a concentrated beam of light known as a laser.

Laser eye surgery is one of the most commonly performed eye surgeries in the world, with over 40 million people having been treated so far. It uses a ‘cool’ laser to adjust the minute imperfections on the cornea to correct your vision. It is a wonderful option for people who desire a reduction in dependence on glasses or contact lenses, and for those that have or are beginning to have a contact lens intolerance. For both personal and professional reasons, more and more patients are choosing to have Laser eye surgery as it allows them to more freely pursue their hobbies, sports activities or career options – without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses!


LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis and is the most commonly performed type of laser vision correction, it is a form of surgery aimed at primarily improving the vision of those who are long or short-sighted or who have an astigmatism.

LASIK is the most popular and commonplace type of laser eye surgery carried out in the UK. Approximately 90% of laser patients undergo this treatment and there are many good reasons why it may be preferable.

Cost: Lasik Prices from just £2100 per eye or £66.67 per eye/month

Based on 24 months Interest Free Finance and a £500 deposit


LASEK stands for laser assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy, it’s an alternative (often better) choice if you have a thin cornea, are a sports professional or have a medical condition that makes laser eye surgery more challenging to complete, and is the preferred laser treatment for the other 10% of patients who are suitable for laser eye treatment.’

The results are as excellent as with LASIK treatment given the same technology and treating laser (excimer laser) are used for both. However, during the surgery only one laser will be used to correct your vision— rather than the two that are used in LASIK. With LASEK procedures the corneal flap is made manually by the surgeon, this allows for the creation of a thinner flap. Surgeons will be able to advise if this applies to a particular patient’s case.

Cost: Lasek Prices from just £2100 per eye or £66.67 per eye/month

Based on 24 months Interest Free Finance and a £500 deposit


The table explains the key differences between the two treatments.



More popular – 90% of patientsLess popular – 10% of patients
More surgeries performedFewer surgeries performed
Eye test for suitabilityEye test for suitability
Wavefront technology usedWavefront technology used
Results – excellentResults – excellent
Recovery time – 24-48 hrsRecovery time – 1 week+

Customer Reviews

1- The LASIK correction performed by AVC has changed my life. After wearing glasses and contact lenses for the last 25 years, it’s incredible to wake up every morning and be able to see everything! My prescription was -8 and it’s credit to the team at AVC that I now have my vision fully restored!

Phil Durrant

2- Outcomes are excellent for both of the methods, and as the same laser and wavefront technology is used for both procedures, the end result does not vary according to whether the patient undergoes.

Read more LASIK & LASEK Reviews »

Which treatment is better?

Both treatments have their pros and cons.

If a patient is recommended for LASIK treatment, a small flap is made in the cornea, which is the curved outer surface of the eyeball. The laser is then used to treat the deeper layers inside the cornea to resolve the sight difficulties, and finally, the flap is replaced to allow the tissues underneath to start healing. Immediately following LASIK surgery, a protective soft contact lens is placed on the eye for 24-48 hours. This is removed by your surgeon at your first aftercare appointment.

LASEK treatment differs in that the epithelium, the outermost layer of the cornea is treated with a special alcohol solution and is moved aside manually by the surgeon. After LASEK treatment, the surgeon will fit a protective contact lens to the patient’s eye to act as a bandage for the cornea whilst the epithelium layer heals and regenerates.

After LASEK treatment, the surgeon will fit a type of contact lens to the patient’s eye to act as a protective bandage for the cornea whilst the epithelium layer heals and regenerates. This contact lens stays in place for around four days and is then removed, although it might take as long as a week for the patient to feel the full visual benefits of their eye surgery.

The visual outcomes achieved are the same with both these laser eye surgery procedures but it takes slightly longer to reach with LASEK laser eye surgery than with LASIK eye treatment.

With LASIK, the recovery time is quicker and more comfortable, and most patients feel the full benefit of their new vision after 24 to 48 hours, meaning less time away from work and other tasks.

Interested in LASIK or LASEK Treatment?

Call AVC on 020 7935 7497 today to find out more about both treatments and our transparent costs, or why not arrange a consultation where our surgeons can recommend the most suitable vision correction procedure for your individual eyes.


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