Epi-LASIK is a procedure that has evolved from PRK and LASEK. It involves the use of a microkeratome, similar to that used in traditional LASIK, but it doesn’t cut the cornea. Instead it separates the surface layer (epithelium) which is preserved and replaced following the reshaping of the cornea using the excimer laser. Unlike LASEK which uses alcohol to separate the epithelium which can kill epithelial cells, Epi-LASIK allows the cells to live and continue to survive after replacement.
Epi-LASIK, like PRK and LASEK, is still a surface ablation procedure and to date, no useful scientific randomized controlled study has been performed to investigate whether this new method has any real advantages.