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Home|Laser Eye Treatments|Trans-Epithelial Laser Eye Correction

Trans-Epithelial Laser Eye Correction

Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment Laser Eye Correction

AccuVision are at the forefront of the latest and most effective laser eye correction techniques. We lead the way in improvements to laser eye correction to enable patients to achieve the very best possible future vision in the safest and most comfortable way.

AccuVision were for example, the first clinic to introduce the revolutionary WaveLight Allegretto wavefront laser technology platform that has revolutionised laser eye correction results.

We have used the Alcon Wavelight Allegretto laser to perform true 'all laser/no flap' laser eye correction procedures which we call Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment. This is essentially a 'no touch' procedure.

Diagram of the Cornea The cornea is a transparent curved lens at the front of the eye. It bends (refracts) light onto the back of the eye so that a clear image can be produced on the retina. By reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser it is possible to adjust the focusing power of the cornea to improve unaided vision.


Diagram of the Stroma

Laser eye correction is performed in one of two ways:

  1. Creating a flap on the cornea prior to the laser re-shaping it (LASIK/IntraLASIK) or
  2. Removing the surface layer of the cornea (epithelium) before re-shaping the cornea, (PRK, LASEK, EPI-LASIK)


Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment is an advanced form of surface laser treatment.

Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment is performed in two stages:

Firstly, the laser is used to remove the surface layer of the eye (epithelium) with pinpoint accuracy and regularity. We have found on our current laser platform that it is possible to very accurately define the transition as the laser goes through the epithelium by direct visualisation in low ambient light, so we can exactly limit the ablation to within 1 micron (thereby minimising possible stromal tissue loss).
Secondly, the laser is programmed to remove exactly the right amount of corneal stromal tissue to achieve the shape change required from the cornea to significantly improve the vision of the patient. Following laser eye surgery treatment a bandage contact lens is placed over the cornea for a few days as the epithelial layer rapidly grows back across the surface of the cornea.

Advantages over other surface laser eye treatments e.g. LASEK:

  • No alcohol or mechanical separation of epithelial layer occurs.
  • The removal of the epithelium is achieved by the laser to microns of accuracy and avoids poor quality epithelial flaps or alcohol toxicity.
  • The treatment plan requires no suction during laser eye correction treatment.
  • Quicker healing (re-epithelialisation) occurs following treatment. Less pain and faster vision stabilisation is experienced by patients compared to other surface laser eye correction treatments.

Advantages of Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment over LASIK/IntraLASIK:

  • It is a 'no touch' procedure that makes treatment more comfortable for the patient.
  • No suction is required to stabilise the corneal tissue.
  • It avoids the potential for ANY flap complications during treatment.
  • It is less invasive and there is no risk of long term or late flap complications.
  • There is less risk of long-term corneal biomechanical instability.

Disadvantages of Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment:

  • There is discomfort for the first day or two following treatment (compared with LASIK), but much less than other surface treatments.
  • Vision recovery takes longer compared to LASIK, but again it is shorter than other surface treatments.
  • There is a small risk of corneal haze, but again less compared to other surface laser eye correction treatments.

When might AccuVision recommend a Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment?

  • For circumstances when corneal bio-mechanics may be compromised beyond clinically acceptable limits for long term safety. This depends on the complexity of the corneal shape, thickness, prescription being considered for treatment and many other linked issues.
  • Where there is an increased possibility of LASIK flap complications e.g. small, deep set eyes.
  • When treating patients who participate in contact sports e.g. rugby, martial arts etc. or engage in activities with enhanced risk of injury e.g. fire officers, police personnel and the armed forces etc.
  • When treating patients who are highly anxious or having a particular phobia about flap creation.
  • For some re-treatment of patients who have had previous corneal surgery.
  • For preparation of the under layer of the cornea before corneal cross-linking in Keratoconic patients.

Trans-Epithelial Surface Treatment can be used with the full range of customised laser eye surgery treatment options offered by the WaveLight Allegretto laser including:

  • Wavefront optimised laser eye surgery
  • Wavefront guided laser eye surgery
  • Topography guided laser eye surgery
  • Depending on each case presentation

We will guide you through the most appropriate laser eye correction solution for your particular case at your consultation. For more information about this procedure please give our consultants a call on 0330 123 2020 or book yourself a free consultation.