Removed Epithelium for Lasik Anhancement, is It Safe? Time of Recovery?

I had ghosting and starburst on my left eye, in colombia. And the surgeon told me to have an enhancement:lifting the flap to put it back down again, making more flat (the problem was a wrinkle in the front, probably made by him, when he first removed the contact lens 3 months ago, I was seeing perfectly, then, after he removed it I had total blurry vision on right eye). anyways, during the surgery he removed my epithelium . Is it a safe procedure? the time of recovery is same of prk? how long?

Doctor Answers 2

Epithelium Removed for LASIK Enhancement (PRK)

The epithelium of the cornea heals very quickly in most patients, typically within a few days. The newly healed epithelium does appear to be fragile at first and may take a few weeks to stabilize. During this time it may seem like your vision is fluctuating and it is until the epithelium has stabilized. 


It is generally very safe to remove the epithelium after having LASIK done which is called PRK as long as you are  kept on antibiotic drops to prevent infection while your eyes are healing.


The reason your surgeon chose to remove the epithelium is, very likely, because the major complication of re-lifting a flap is that the epithelium may grow under the flap instead of over it causing other complications. Often removing the epithelium is actually safer and was a great way for your surgeon to go.

San Diego Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Wrinkles and distorted vision after LASIK

he can't just lift the flap up and put it back down, it will still be wrinkled and you will still have distorted vision. he must lift it up, hydrate it with hypotonic saline, then suture it down with the sutures perpendicular to the wrinkles to stretch it out. he can also try the Pineda iron, named after the surgeon i trained with at Harvard who did my own LASIK, but that only works in the first week, and it sounds like he let this go longer than that

this is why i switched to LASEK as wo a flap, you can't have similar flap problems

you can also get a LASEK on top of the LASIK if you did the above and it still doesn't work

hope this helps and good luck

Dr. Emil Chynn

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.