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Epi-LASEK, or “laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy,” is a laser eye surgery method that can be used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (spherical curvature of the eye/lens).

Similarly to LASIK, Epi-LASEK reshapes the cornea to enable light to enter the eye, leading to clearer vision without the use of glasses or contacts. While the visual results may be the same between these two laser procedures, Epi-LASEK traditionally uses the application of alcohol to loosen the cornea’s surface cells (epithelium), as an alternative to cutting a corneal flap as done during LASIK. Epi-LASEK also has a longer healing period post-procedure than LASIK.

Though Epi-LASEK is a common alternative for people who are not good candidates for LASIK, the procedure is not advisable for everyone. Your doctor will carefully evaluate you to see if Epi-LASEK is right for you.