Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the original form of corrective laser eye surgery. LASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is the more popular type of refractive surgery and was developed after PRK. Both are still used today, but LASIK is much more widely used.
Although LASIK is the more advanced procedure, PRK is still the better option for some patients. Which one is right for you? At Beverly Hills Institue of Opthalmology, our team of board-certified ophthalmologists evaluate the health of your eyes and let you know which is best for you.
Both procedures help people ditch their glasses so that they can wake up and see clearly without reaching for help. And both procedures have similar success rates.
Here are the top things to know about the differences between LASIK and PRK.
Both eye surgeries use a laser to reshape the cornea. This helps your eyesight by allowing light that enters the eye to be directed to the retina.
During a LASIK procedure, we can get access to the cornea by making an excision near the cornea. This excision creates a flap that enables us to reshape the cornea. After the cornea reshaping is complete, the flap reseals.
During the PRK, the outer layer of the cornea is removed prior to reshaping. This layer, called the epithelium, eventually grows back within a few days.
Risk and recovery
Recovery tends to be longer with PRK because it takes a few days for the new epithelial cells to grow back and cover the surface of your eye. And because your eye is more exposed, there’s a slightly higher risk of eye infection and haziness of vision in the first few days after surgery.
With LASIK, most of our patients can see clearly within a few hours.
LASIK is not for everyone
Although LASIK is a more comfortable procedure with fewer risks, it’s not the best choice for everyone. Those with thinner corneal tissue would do better with PRK. The depth required to remove the thin outer layer of the cornea is about 50% less than the depth it takes to cut a flap. Also, if you have dry eye syndrome, you’re a better candidate for PRK than LASIK.
The eye care professionals at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology, with locations in Beverly Hills and Torrance, CA, are highly-skilled at both procedures and can help you decide which one is the best option for your eye health and vision.
For more information about which laser eye surgery is right for your vision needs, call us today for an appointment at (310) 273-2333.