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The Difference Between LASIK and PRK

The Difference Between LASIK and PRK

October 9, 2017 • 9413 views

LASIK surgery and PRK laser eye surgery are two common options for addressing vision problems, and laser eye surgery patients often have questions about what both procedures are like. In this video Dr. LaMia Jones reviews the differences between the two procedures, and why laser eye surgery patients can often expect similar results from both procedures once the recovery period is complete.

Understanding the Difference between LASIK and PRK Laser Eye Surgery

Both procedures have been in use for a long time in the laser eye surgery community, and PRK was actually the predecessor to LASIK eye surgery. There are differences in technique and recovery time for both procedures, but the end result is often very similar.

  • LASIK Flap – The LASIK “flap” is one of the key elements of LASIK eye surgery, because creating the flap allows the surgeon to address vision problems at the necessary level of the eye. As Dr. Jones states, creating the flap is a bit like “opening a book” to fix the pages inside, and then closing the book cover to allow healing.
  • PRK Surgery – Unlike LASIK, PRK surgery does not rely on the creation of a flap in order to address vision problems. Instead, a small amount of tissue is removed in order to reach the correct part of the eye for laser eye surgery.
  • Recovery – While the long-term recovery for PRK and LASIK is very similar, there are some differences in the early stages of healing. The lack of a flap for PRK may lead to a slightly longer initial healing process, and your surgeon can tell you exactly what to expect from the recovery process for each type of surgery. Within a short time after surgery, the difference in the recovery process can be minimal.
  • Results – “At the end of one year, LASIK patients and PRK patients do the same,” Dr. Jones states, “but on the front-end the healing time is a little longer for PRK. So there is a little bit of a difference, but PRK is still a very safe and wonderful procedure for patients who qualify for it.”

Discussing your options with a laser eye surgery professional is the best way to learn more, and find the right procedure for your needs. Contact your local LASIK center to schedule your free consultation, and learn more about your laser eye surgery options.

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