What Is Sub-Bowman's Keratomileusis LASIK? Cons & Pros

Sub-Bowmans Keratomileusis (SBK) is a term used to describe LASIK with a very thin flap. SBK flaps are approximately 110 microns thick, whereas traditional LASIK flaps are usually 120 to 160 microns thick. It is shaping up to be the quick and painless surgery that combines the safety of PRK with the quick recovery time of LASIK surgery. The thinner SBK flap not only is ideal for those with thinner corneas, but also minimizes the risk of dry eye. In addition to being thinner, the SBK flap is also smaller in diameter.

The smaller SBK flap also damages fewer of the strong corneal fibers that help the cornea maintain its proper shape. With fewer of these strong fibers affected, SBK may lessen the risk of corneal ectasia, compared to eyes that have had LASIK surgery. Although SBK may seem like a advantage than traditional LASIK, however, SBK can lead to complications such as hazing or scarring. So we wonder whether the benefits of SBK outweigh the possible risks.

What Is Sub-Bowman's Keratomileusis LASIK? Cons & Pros


  • Fewer cases of dry eye.
  • It is more comfortable during the first five hours after SBK than femtosecond LASIK.
  • The day after surgery 100% of the SBK eyes had visual acuity of 20/40 or better, Even at 1 week after surgery, only 52% of PRK eyes were 20/40 or better.
  • At 1 month after surgery, 90% of the SBK eyes had 20/20 visual acuity, whereas only 50% of the PRK eyes were 20/20.
  • At 3 months after surgery, twice as many patients reported better vision in the SBK eye compared to the PRK eye.

Side Effects

SBK can lead to complications such as hazing or scarring more than traditional LASIK.