Posted by: Manhattan LASIK Center

LASIK or Epi-LASIK? Which One Am I a Candidate for?

Before you can settle on LASIK or Epi-LASIK surgery, you should first understand what both procedures entail and the differences between the two.


LASIK is among the first laser-based procedures for treating vision issues. It aims to eliminate common vision problems such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism

As with any procedure, you may experience some side effects after the procedure, but they usually fade away after a few days or weeks. These primarily include dry eyes and glare. The outcome depends on factors like your refractive error.

What LASIK Involves

In a healthy eye, images focus in the back of the eye, onto the retina. But when someone has hyperopia or myopia, this is not the case. The images end up focusing either behind the retina or in front of it, resulting in blurred vision.

Blurry vision is traditionally corrected by using contact lenses or eyeglasses to allow the eye to focus light in the right spot on the retina. . However, the same refraction and vision correction is achievable by reshaping the cornea, which is what a LASIK surgery achieves. 

During a LASIK procedure, the LASIK surgeon will administer eye-numbing drops and a mild sedative. Then, will use a special femtosecond laser to reshape the cornea. Our LASIK surgeons in Manhattan create precise ultra-thin flaps to flatten or steepen the corneal curve. The flap will be placed back into place and will heal on its own in about one to two days.

About Epi-LASIK

Traditional LASIK procedures involve creating a flap using lasers. Other procedures like LASEK use an alcoholic solution to detach the epithelium flap to allow laser ablation. However, Epi-LASIK is a more recent procedure that uses a similar but slightly different approach.

Epi-LASIK and LASIK differ because of the nature of the epithelial flap they create. During an Epi-LASIK procedure, your doctor will separate the sheet from the eye using a separator. After creating the ultra-thin epithelial flap, they will fold it back carefully to allow excimer laser ablation. After reshaping the cornea, your Manhattan LASIK surgeon will put the flap back in position. In some instances, the healing process requires the assistance of a contact lens bandage.

Which One Are You a Candidate for?

You are a good candidate for Epi-LASIK if your cornea is thinner than usual. Having less corneal tissue disqualifies you from having traditional LASIK surgery. It is also suitable if you have dry eyes or use the computer heavily. On the other hand, you are not a good candidate for either procedure if you have a high refractive error or suffer from severe myopia.

You are also a good candidate if:

  • You have had a stable vision for at least a year
  • Your eyes are healthy (free of cataracts or glaucoma)
  • You are at least 18 years old

To learn more about LASIK and Epi-LASIK, contact Manhattan LASIK Center in Manhattan, New York, at (212) 759-9617 today. You can also visit our website to schedule a free virtual consultation.