The Clearview Blog

LASIK vs. PRK

September 4, 2014

 

If you’re considering refractive laser vision correction, you will ultimately need to decide (along with your Clearview eye professional) which procedure will get you the best results. The two most common refractive laser procedures are LASIK and PRK, and although both procedures will essentially achieve the same result, there are some key differences that you need to consider. For your convenience we’ve broken down both procedures below.

PRK

PRK is a very advanced form of laser vision correction, and is often referred to as the original laser surgery as it was first performed in 1987. The procedure involves either removing or lifting the corneal epithelium, and treating the underlying corneal surface. PRK typically takes less than 10 minutes, and is very safe. The recovery period for PRK can take a few weeks, or even months depending on the patient, and you will be required to wear a bandage contact lens immediately following surgery for a period of about 5 days. In most cases, patients can expect vision to have finished stabilizing at the 3 to 6 month period.

LASIK

LASIK is without a doubt one of the most precise, client focused laser corrective procedures currently available. LASIK has been performed since the early 1990s, and as of 2009 has been performed on over 28 million people worldwide. LASIK differs from PRK in terms of the way surgeons gain access to the corneal surface. In LASIK, a flap is created in the corneal epithelium as opposed to removing it. The laser treats the underlying stromal layer, and the flap is simply replaced. As with PRK, the procedure time is typically less than 10 minutes, and is very comfortable for the patient.

Due to the flap, the recovery time for LASIK is significantly shorter than with PRK and requires no bandage contact lens. With LASIK, patients are typically cleared to drive within 24 hours after surgery, and although the vision will continue to stabilize over the following weeks and months, these changes usually go unnoticed.

What is right for you?

This is a decision that is best left up to you and your surgeon. However, in most cases, patients will prefer LASIK to PRK surgery due to the extremely shorter recovery time. That said, there are some key factors that may complicate the LASIK procedure in your case, indicating that PRK might provide a better result. This includes things like thin corneas, previous surgeries, and various other physical and behavioral characteristics.

If you’re interested in LASIK or PRK surgery, please give the vision experts at Clearview Vision Institute a call! We’d love to answer any questions you may have about either of these two procedures, and set up an obligation free, cost free, laser correction consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!