Different types of LASEK eye surgery

Exploring the Different Types of LASEK Eye Surgery

Key Takeaways

Standard LASEKBasic form of laser eye surgery, correcting common refractive errors.
Wavefront LASEKAdvanced method using wavefront technology for customised correction.
Topography-Guided LASEKUtilizes corneal mapping for highly personalised treatments.
Custom LASEKTailors the procedure to individual eye characteristics.

Introduction to LASEK Eye Surgery Varieties

LASEK eye surgery has evolved significantly, offering various advanced options for vision correction. Each type of LASEK — standard, wavefront, topography-guided, and custom — provides unique benefits, catering to different vision correction needs.

Understanding these types can help you make an informed decision about which is best for your eyes.

Standard LASEK: The Foundation of Laser Eye Surgery

Standard LASEK is the baseline method of laser eye surgery. It’s designed to correct common refractive errors, such as:

  • myopia (nearsightedness)
  • hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • astigmatism
  • presbyopia (reading glasses)

In this procedure, the corneal epithelium is delicately separated and repositioned after laser treatment, a technique combining aspects of both LASIK and PRK surgeries【source】.

Standard LASEK is particularly beneficial for those with thin corneas or high myopia and for individuals whose lifestyle or occupation puts them at risk of eye injuries. The procedure typically involves minimal discomfort, with a longer recovery time than LASIK.

Wavefront-Optimised LASEK: A Step Towards Customization

Wavefront-optimised LASEK, a significant advancement in laser eye surgery, utilises sophisticated wavefront technology. This method addresses basic refractive errors and aims to preserve the cornea’s asphericity, reducing the risk of inducing higher-order aberrations (HOA) that can occur with conventional refractive surgeries【source】.

For most patients, wavefront-optimised treatment is the best approach.

Wavefront-optimised LASEK offers a more personalised approach compared to standard LASEK. It’s especially effective for patients requiring intricate corrections beyond standard prescriptions.

Topography-Guided LASEK: The Height of Personalisation

Topography-guided LASEK, epitomised by technologies like Contoura Vision, takes customization to the next level. This method involves detailed mapping of the cornea’s curvature, integrating this data with wavefront measurements to create a comprehensive 3D map of the eye.

wavefront technology laser eye surgery

The result is a highly individualised treatment plan that addresses refractive errors and corrects subtle corneal irregularities.

This advanced technology is particularly beneficial for patients seeking correction for complex vision issues and those who have previously found it challenging to achieve optimal results from other forms of laser eye surgery. This includes irregular corneas, for example, scars, keratoconus or previous unsuccessful laser eye surgery.

Custom LASEK: Tailoring to the Individual

Custom LASEK leverages wavefront or ray-tracing technology to offer treatments that are as unique as each patient’s eyes. Customising the procedure based on the patient’s specific eye characteristics provides a higher degree of precision in correcting vision【source】.

This approach is akin to having bespoke eyewear, ensuring that the treatment is finely tuned to each individual’s needs. Ray-tracing technology (in development) hopes to be able to address all aberrations in a patient’s eye.

Wavefront Optimised LASEK eye surgery

Custom LASEK is currently available as wavefront-guided and suitable for a select group of patients, particularly those with complex visual aberrations that require a more nuanced approach to correction.

Each type of LASEK eye surgery presents unique benefits and suits different visual correction needs. Whether you opt for standard, wavefront, topography-guided, or custom LASEK, you must consult a qualified eye surgeon to determine the best option for your eyes.

For more information on various eye conditions and treatments, visit Dave Allamby’s blog.

Have a question about LASEK Surgery? Get in touch today

Comprehensive Understanding of Wavefront-Optimised LASEK

The Science Behind Wavefront Technology

Wavefront-optimised LASEK represents a revolutionary leap in laser eye surgery technology. By employing wavefront technology, this method enables a more nuanced and customised approach to correcting vision.

Wavefront technology analyses how light travels through the eye, identifies any optical imperfections and creates a detailed 3D map. This map is then used to guide the laser during surgery, allowing for precise corrections tailored to the individual’s unique eye structure.

Benefits of Wavefront-Optimised LASEK

The primary advantage of wavefront-optimised LASEK is its ability to correct both standard refractive errors and higher-order aberrations, which are complex visual imperfections not typically addressed by traditional eyeglasses or contact lenses.

This results in a significantly improved quality of vision, especially regarding contrast sensitivity and reduction in visual disturbances like halos or glaresource】.

Who Can Benefit from Wavefront-Optimised LASEK?

Wavefront-optimised LASEK is an excellent option for individuals who have experienced limitations with standard eyeglasses or contacts. It’s particularly beneficial for those with moderate higher-order aberrations.

This technology is also ideal for patients seeking a more personalised approach to laser eye surgery, ensuring their specific vision needs are precisely met.

Topography-Guided LASEK: Precision at Its Best

The Role of Corneal Topography

Topography-guided LASEK employs advanced corneal topography technology, which details the cornea’s surface curvature. This mapping allows surgeons to identify and correct subtle corneal irregularities alongside common refractive errors.

The Contoura Vision system is a leading example of this technology, combining topography with wavefront data for a highly customised treatment plan.

Advantages of Topography-Guided LASEK

One of the most significant benefits of topography-guided LASEK is its ability to enhance visual acuity, particularly in low-light conditions and situations requiring high contrast.

Patients often report sharper, clearer vision and a noticeable reduction in visual disturbances such as halos and glare. This method is ideal for patients seeking the most individualised approach to vision correction.

Who Should Consider Topography-Guided LASEK?

Topography-guided LASEK is particularly suited for individuals with unique corneal characteristics or those who have not achieved their desired vision correction through other types of laser eye surgeries. It’s also an excellent choice for those who desire a highly tailored approach to their vision correction needs.

Have a question about LASEK Surgery? Get in touch today

Wavefront-Guided LASEK: Tailored for Each Eye

Personalisation in Laser Eye Surgery

Using wavefront technologies, Custom LASEK offers a highly personalised approach to laser eye surgery. This method utilizes wavefront technology to assess and correct the eye’s unique visual characteristics, allowing for a custom-fit treatment plan for each patient.

Why Choose Custom LASEK?

Custom LASEK is particularly advantageous for patients with specific visual needs that standard procedures cannot adequately address. This method’s precision helps effectively manage complex visual issues, ensuring that the treatment closely aligns with each patient’s unique visual profile.

Ideal Candidates for Custom LASEK

Custom LASEK is an excellent choice for those seeking a bespoke solution to their vision correction. It’s particularly suitable for patients with unique or complex visual aberrations who require a more tailored approach than what standard LASEK can provide.

Wavefront-optimised, topography-guided, and wavefront-guided LASEK each offer unique benefits and cater to different patient needs.

Delving Deeper into Standard LASEK: The Traditional Approach

Understanding Standard LASEK

Standard LASEK stands as the foundational approach in laser eye surgery. It primarily focuses on correcting common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure involves reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser, which enhances the eye’s ability to focus light correctly onto the retina.

Advantages of Standard LASEK

The key advantage of standard LASEK is its proven track record and widespread applicability. It’s a reliable choice for individuals with common refractive errors and is particularly suitable for patients who are not ideal candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas or certain lifestyle factors.

Moreover, standard LASEK offers a high success rate in improving vision and reducing dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Who Should Opt for Standard LASEK?

Standard LASEK is an excellent option for individuals with stable prescriptions who seek a straightforward solution to their vision problems. It’s also a preferred choice for those with thinner corneas or a higher risk of eye injuries, where creating a corneal flap (as in LASIK) may not be advisable【source】.

However, wavefront-optimised LASEK has all the benefits of standard treatment and takes only a little more tissue. But the gains in optics are well worth it.

Exploring the Potential of Wavefront-Optimised LASEK

Wavefront Technology: A Game-Changer

Wavefront technology has transformed the landscape of laser eye surgery. Creating a detailed 3D map of the eye enables surgeons to perform highly customised treatments that address both standard refractive errors and higher-order aberrations. This level of customisation ensures a more precise correction, leading to potentially better visual outcomes【source】.

wavefront technology laser eye surgery concept

The Ideal Candidate for Wavefront-Optimised LASEK

Wavefront-optimised LASEK is best suited for patients requiring a more detailed vision correction approach. It’s particularly effective for individuals with complex visual issues that go beyond what standard prescriptions can correct. Patients seeking a high degree of personalization in their treatment will find wavefront-optimised LASEK to be an ideal choice.

Topography-Guided LASEK: The Pinnacle of Personalisation

The Precision of Corneal Mapping

Topography-guided LASEK takes personalisation in laser eye surgery to new heights. Detailed corneal mapping allows for correcting subtle imperfections and irregularities in the cornea. This technology provides a comprehensive vision correction approach, addressing common refractive errors and higher-order aberrations.

Who Benefits Most from Topography-Guided LASEK?

Topography-guided LASEK is particularly beneficial for patients with unique corneal characteristics, e.g. corneal scars or damage or those without optimal results from other laser eye surgeries. Its precise mapping and customisation capabilities make it an excellent choice for those seeking the most individualised form of vision correction.

Each type of LASEK surgery—standard, wavefront-optimised, and topography-guided—offers distinct advantages. Understanding these options is crucial in choosing the most suitable method for your vision correction needs.

For further insights into these advanced surgical techniques, check out Dave Allamby’s comprehensive guide on LASEK eye surgery.

Have a question about LASEK Surgery? Get in touch today

Custom LASEK: The Ultimate in Personalised Eye Surgery

The Essence of Custom LASEK

Custom LASEK utilizes advanced technology to tailor laser eye surgery to the unique characteristics of each patient’s eyes. This approach uses wavefront or ray tracing technology to create a precise treatment plan, ensuring that the surgery addresses the individual’s specific vision needs and imperfections.

Advantages of Choosing Custom LASEK

The primary advantage of custom LASEK lies in its ability to provide a highly personalised treatment. This method is particularly effective in correcting complex visual aberrations that standard treatments might not fully address. Patients often experience significantly improved vision quality, reducing issues like glare and halos.

Ideal Candidates for Custom LASEK

Custom LASEK is particularly beneficial for individuals with unique eye characteristics, such as irregular astigmatism or other complex refractive errors. It’s also an ideal choice for patients who seek a bespoke solution to their vision correction needs.

Making an Informed Decision on LASEK Surgery

Consultation with an Expert

Before deciding on a specific type of LASEK surgery, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified eye surgeon. They can provide detailed information on the benefits and risks associated with each method and help determine the most suitable option based on your individual needs and eye health.

Consider Your Vision Goals

When considering LASEK surgery, think about your vision goals and lifestyle needs. Different types of LASEK offer varying benefits, so choosing a method that aligns with your specific vision requirements is essential.

Understanding the Recovery Process

Each type of LASEK surgery comes with its own recovery timeline and post-surgery care requirements. Discussing these aspects with your surgeon will help you prepare for the surgery and ensure a smooth recovery.

LASEK Alternatives

The main alternatives to LASEK are LASIK, ICL and RLE surgery.


LASIK is the most popular laser eye surgery due to its safety, speed of recovery and minimal discomfort.




Can treat all prescriptions

Prescription range *

Up to -12D (dioptres)

Up to -12D (dioptres)

Thin corneas

Fix astigmatism

Fast recovery

Post-op pain



Needs operating theatre

Infection rate

1 in 7,000

1 in 21,000


Implantable contact lenses are an excellent choice for patients who aren’t eligible for laser eye surgery, for example, those with extreme prescriptions.




Extreme prescriptions

Prescription range

Up to -18D (dioptres)

Up to -12D (dioptres)

Can regress and return to needing glasses

Stable, no regression

Can regress

Thin corneas

Maintains ability to read

Fast recovery


Operating theatre

Infection rate

1 in 3,000

1 in 7,000


Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an option for patients aged 45+ who are not suitable for either laser eye surgery or ICLs and who need a permanent solution.




Extreme prescriptions

High prescriptions

Prescription range

Up to -25D (dioptres)

Up to -12D (dioptres)

Thin corneas

Maintains ability to read with modified procedure

Fast recovery

Several days to weeks


Operating theatre

Infection rate

1 in 3,000

1 in 7,000


LASEK eye surgery offers a range of options to suit different vision correction needs. Whether you opt for standard, wavefront-optimised, topography-guided, or custom LASEK, each type provides unique benefits.

To discover more about these surgical options and to find out which might be the best fit for you, visit Dave Allamby’s detailed exploration of LASEK eye surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the main difference between standard and wavefront-optimised LASEK?
    Standard LASEK focuses on correcting basic refractive errors, while wavefront-optimised LASEK uses advanced technology to address both standard errors and higher-order aberrations for a more customised treatment.
  2. Is topography-guided LASEK suitable for everyone?
    Topography-guided LASEK is ideal for individuals with unique corneal characteristics or those who haven’t achieved optimal results from other forms of laser eye surgery.
  3. How does custom LASEK differ from other types?
    Custom LASEK uses wavefront technology to tailor the procedure to the specific needs of the patient’s eyes, making it suitable for complex visual aberrations.
  4. What should I consider when choosing a type of LASEK surgery?
    Consider your specific vision needs, lifestyle, and the advice of a qualified eye surgeon to determine the best type of LASEK surgery for you.
  5. Can LASEK surgery correct astigmatism?
    Yes, LASEK surgery can effectively correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness (short-sight, long-sight and astigmatism).
  6. What is the recovery time for LASEK surgery?
    Recovery time varies depending on the type of LASEK surgery. Still, patients generally experience initial visual recovery within a week, with final outcomes apparent in a few weeks to several months.

Have a question about LASEK Surgery? Get in touch today

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