<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="flask.nextdoor.com/pixel?pid=2a4c0e39-9ce2-46a1-9e18-a1e36fb5ec01&amp;ev=PAGE_VIEW&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to content
Back To Blog

How is PRK Different Than LASIK?

LASIK laser eye surgery is an excellent option for many individuals who are looking for better vision, without the hassle of contacts or glasses. LASIK is known to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness, and can even be used successfully in fixing astigmatism. But even though there are a lot of people who are optimal candidates for LASIK, it’s not an option for everyone.

If you have especially thin corneas, for example, it’s not recommended to undergo LASIK laser eye surgery. Another condition in which LASIK is not the ideal route is for those individuals who suffer from chronically dry eyes. In this instance, LASIK can often exacerbate the problem. So, with all of this in mind, you might be wondering what the pros and cons are of an alternative vision correction surgery, known as Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK).

The Upsides of PRK Eye Surgery

If you have already had LASIK laser eye surgery in the past, most eye doctors would not recommend having the same procedure again. So those who are in this situation, and have not had as much vision correction as they had hoped as a result of LASIK, are often ideal candidates for PRK. Another situation in which PRK might be the best option is when your eyes don’t meet the criteria considered best for LASIK candidates, like thin corneas and dry eyes as mentioned above. And functionally, the PRK procedure is different from LASIK. Most notably, it does not require the surgeon to cut a corneal flap, as LASIK does.

The Downsides of PRK Eye Surgery

While PRK is a great option for those who cannot get LASIK for a variety of reasons, it also includes some disadvantages. The most cited one is that the recovery time from PRK is longer and associated with more discomfort than with LASIK, as the eyes need more time to heal after surgery. When undergoing a PRK procedure, the eye surgeon actually removes the outer layer of the cornea in order for the laser to reshape the necessary area. This removal of corneal tissue, rather than cutting of a flap, requires more time in healing. It takes, on average, around three days for the discomfort to subside and about six months for vision to be fully healed and at ultimate clarity.

The Takeaway

LASIK eye surgery and PRK eye surgery are both safe and effective procedures that have high success and satisfaction rates. The decision to choose one over another should ultimately be made by a qualified eye doctor who talks with you at length about the details of each, and involves you in the final decision. If you’d like to consider LASIK or PRK, contact us today to inquire more or to ask about our exams.