13 07 epilasikDescription: Epi-Lasik is a PRK technique done when Lasik is not safe because the cornea is too thin or not strong enough to make a flap. The laser correction is exactly the same as Lasik, but visual recovery is slower.

How it's done: Numbing anesthetic drops are placed in the eyes before surgery. The surface cells of the cornea are removed by using an instrument called the epikeratome. The excimer laser treatment is then applied to the surface of the cornea rather than under a flap. A clear bandage contact lens is then applied to the cornea and removed after three to five days.

Complications: As with Lasik, serious complications are very rare. Infection can occur but is easily treated. There is less risk of making the cornea too thin. Some ocular dryness can occur.

Recovery: Most patients return to work within four to five days. Visual improvement continues over several weeks with most patients driving after one week.

Cost: $2,500 to $3,000/eye.