What Is the Difference Between LASIK and PRK?

Posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017 by Dr. Binoy Jani

LASIK vs. PRKWhile LASIK is the most popular laser vision correction procedure for correcting common refractive errors (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), it is not the only option available. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can be a viable solution for patients who wish to improve their vision and reduce their dependence on prescription eyewear, but are not eligible for LASIK. In this blog post, the Vista Eye Care Specialists discuss the differences between the two procedures.

About LASIK and PRK

With both LASIK and PRK, an excimer laser is used to correct the refractive error by reshaping the cornea. This allows light to be more sharply focused onto the retina, thus improving vision. The main difference between the two procedures comes in the treatment of the cornea. LASIK involves creating a thin flap on the cornea, which is then folded back so the laser can reshape the corneal layers underneath. In PRK, no flap is created. Instead, the outer layer of the cornea is removed and the laser is used to directly reshape the surface of the cornea.

Candidacy for LASIK and PRK

Most patients who are eligible for LASIK are also eligible for PRK. Because LASIK involves creating a corneal flap, patients must have a sufficient amount of corneal thickness. Patients with very thin corneas may be ineligible for LASIK but may be suitable candidates for PRK. Patients with irregular astigmatism or prior eye surgery may also be eligible for PRK but not LASIK.

Recovery Times with LASIK and PRK

Recovery tends to be shorter with LASIK; most patients are able to return to work the following day. On the other hand, patients who undergo PRK can resume normal activities four to five days after the procedure.

Learn More from Vista Eye Specialists

The only way to determine which laser vision correction procedure is best for you is to schedule a personal consultation with a board certified eye surgeon. At Vista Eye Specialists, our team is comprised of top laser vision correction surgeons who have treated thousands of patients with both LASIK and PRK. Our team can conduct a thorough eye exam in order to determine your candidacy for laser vision correction. To schedule your FREE consultation, please call 1-888-EYE-JANI (1-888-393-5264) today.