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- What’s the Difference?

Let’s take a look at the differences between PRK and LASIK surgery:

DifferencePRKLASIK
TypeLaser-based corrective vision
surgery so as to help the
patient reduce dependency on
glasses or contact lenses.
Laser-based corrective vision
surgery so as to help the
patient reduce dependency on
contact lenses or glasses
Treatment forPreferred for people who have
a thin cornea, Myopia or
Nearsightedness, Hyperopia or
Farsightedness, Astigmatism
Nearsightedness or Myopia,
Farsightedness or Hyperopia,
Astigmatism
Eligible Age21-4021-40
ProsDecreased depth of laser
treatment, no complications regarding corneal flap, corneal
thickness regulated
Speedy recovery, decreased
risk of post-surgery infection, lower post-operative
discomfort, peak vision
achieved quickly as compared
to PRK, both eyes can be done
at the same time
ConsRecovery slower as compared
to LASIK, increased risk of post-
operative complications,
greater post-operative
discomfort, patients sometimes
have to wait for up to one to
two weeks before operating
the second eye
Possible complications from
corneal flap, increased depth of
laser
Potential Side EffectsDry eyes, infection, night
blindness – halos around lights,
light sensitivity during night
time
Night blindness – halos around
lights, dry eyes, infection,
dislodged corneal flap, light
sensitivity during night time
ConsRecovery slower as compared
to LASIK, increased risk of post-
operative complications,
greater post-operative
discomfort, patients sometimes
have to wait for up to one to
two weeks before operating
the second eye
Possible complications from
corneal flap, increased depth of
laser
CriteriaNo history of dry eyes, no eye
injuries or infections within a
year, stable prescription for
minimum one year
Normal depth cornea, no
history of dry eyes, stable
prescription for at least one
year and no injuries or
infections within a year
Healing and RecoveryTakes up to six months before
peak accuracy is achieved and
clarity in vision is reached.
Requires around one to three
days for blurring and
discomfort to subside
Vision improved immediately,
blurring and discomfort gone
within 24 hours
Outcome20/20 vision or better20/20 vision or better

 

PRK vs LASIK

What is Right for you

The best way to getting rid of your glasses and contacts is to visit a few of your local area eye doctors for a consultation and see if you are eligible for either or both procedures. It is possible that you may be a candidate for only one or both surgical procedures; these doctors will give you their professional opinions, options, and recommendations. It is advised that you visit a couple of eye doctors in your area and their professional opinions on what to do regarding your eyes after which you can draw up your own conclusion.

To learn more about the best laser corrective procedure for you, contact our professionals at Insight Vision Center in Fresno today! To schedule a consultation, call on 559-449-5050.

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