PRK vs. LASIK Eye Surgery

PRK vs Lasik

In recent times, people have become more comfortable with corrective eye surgeries for treating vision problems caused by near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism, due to increased safety and enhanced technology. Two of the most popular surgeries include PRK and LASIK.

PRK, abbreviated for Photorefractive Keratectomy, is a type of surface ablation employed for eye surgery. Computer-controlled laser is used directly over the corneal surface after removing a part of it, which is then allowed to grow back the next few days; whereas in LASIK, the surgery is performed under a thin flap of cornea which is placed back after the procedure. Though both procedures have their own pros and cons, they give excellent results in the end. Read on to know more.

PRK vs. LASIK

The main difference between these two surgeries is based on how surgeons deal with the corneal surface. In PRK, eye surgeon removes the outer layer of cornea and performs vision-correction surgery directly on corneal surface. The exposed area is then allowed to reshape through cell regeneration. It makes a better choice for people with thin corneas or chronically dry eyes.

In LASIK surgery, an incision is made (either with laser or blade) in the cornea to create a flap of tissue. This flap is then lifted and computer-controlled surgical laser is used to reshape inner layers of cornea to repair curvature imperfections causing poor vision. Corneal flap is then put back in place which heals over the reshaped part of the cornea.

PRK is Better Than LASIK in Patients Over 40

Surface cells of eyes of people over 40 are not tightly bound. This can cause the flap to slip during LASIK which can lead to serious complications. With PRK, those risks are eliminated by the absence of flap, making it suitable for elders. Moreover, patients over 40 have slightly dry eyes which get aggravated if LASIK is performed over them.

Candidates for PRK and Lasik

Every patient who is a good candidate for LASIK can opt for PRK, but vice versa does not hold true. PRK is advised for patients with:

  • Thin corneas
  • Large pupils
  • Irregular astigmatism
  • Steep corneas
  • Prior eye surgery
  • History of dry eye syndrome

Additionally, people with high-risk occupations, sportspeople and athletes prefer PRK over LASIK to eliminate the risk of corneal flap displacement. Thorough checkup by a qualified eye surgeon is a must before you proceed with either surgery.

PRK Recovery vs. LASIK Recovery

Though both surgeries give almost the same results, their recovery times differ significantly. PRK recovery takes a little longer than LASIK since the outer corneal layer needs time to reconstruct and heal. Cell generation will result in itchiness, blurriness and discomfort for a few days post surgery. Prescription eye-drops are given to patients to promote healing and reduce discomfort.

In LASIK, the flap is placed back over the cornea when procedure ends, thus drastically cutting down recovery time. The itchiness lasts just a few hours. However, for both surgeries the vision continues to improve gradually for several months before reaching peak quality.

PRK vs LASIK

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