LASIK vs PRK which is better?

LASIK Guider

(Photorefractive keratectomy) and LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) are popular laser-assisted corrective eye surgeries that correct by reshaping the , the transparent dome in front of the eye. They can treat common vision problems like

Both LASIK and PRK are performed on both eyes during the same session as an outpatient procedure. Only topical anesthetic eye drops are used for numbing the surface of the eye during your surgery.

lasik vs prk which is better?

Eligibility for LASIK surgery and PRK surgery

To be , you must meet certain requirements

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Your vision must be stable
  • Your vision prescription must be within certain limits
  • Your eyes must be healthy
  • Your cornea must have sufficient thickness
  • You must be in good health
  • You must have realistic expectations

How LASIK laser surgery is performed?

LASIK involves creating a thin flap in the cornea using a handheld microkeratome blade in or a femtosecond laser in . The flap is lifted, allowing the excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The flap is then folded back into place and heals naturally, which is why LASIK offers a much faster recovery time, typically within a few days.

How PRK laser surgery is performed?

Unlike LASIK, a PRK doesn’t involve cutting a flap in your cornea. Instead of a flap, the outermost layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed with a femtosecond laser or a specialised brush. The excimer laser then reshapes the cornea. A bandage contact lens is placed over the eye to promote a new epithelial layer to grow back naturally. This healing process takes longer than LASIK, from one week to a month.

The main differences between LASIK and PRK

While both procedures have proven to be effective in improving vision, there are key differences between the two that you should be aware of when considering which option may be best for you.

LASIK Eye Surgery PRK Eye Surgery
Flap creation Yes No, epithelium is removed

Postoperative Symptoms discomfort, burning, light sensitivity and blurry vision

Minimal More
Recovery time Faster (within days) Slower (within weeks)

Not suitable for people

with thin corneas

An option for people with thin or irregular corneas

Occupation and Lifestyle

Not suitable for people who participate in contact sports with a high risk of eye injuries Better option for people who participate in contact sports with a high risk of eye injuries
Cost Higher cost Slightly cheaper

LASIK vs. PRK: Which Laser Eye Surgery Is Right for You?

If you are considering laser vision correction surgery, it is important to to know that your medical history, , and other health factors are taken into consideration while determining your .

Both PRK and LASIK are safe and good options for correcting vision, but they have different advantages and considerations to keep in mind. People with thin corneas should not get LASIK because the flap created during the procedure may weaken the cornea even more. In this instance, PRK might be a better choice. If you have thinner corneas or irregular corneal surface, PRK may be a better option for you than LASIK since it causes less corneal tissue disruption.

Both LASIK and PRK have high success rates and can provide long-lasting results for patients who are good candidates for the surgeries. However, some studies have suggested that PRK may have a slightly higher risk of regression, meaning that some patients may experience a gradual worsening of their vision over time.

Because no flap is created in PRK, it is frequently advised for those who are more likely to experience an eye injury due to sports or specific occupations (athletes, pilots), as well as for those who participate in intense physical activity that could push the LASIK flap out of place.

LASIK is known for its quick recovery time and minimal discomfort, with patients often experiencing improved vision within hours of the surgery. Most Lasik patients can resume normal activities within a day or two after surgery. On the other hand, PRK typically has a longer recovery time compared to LASIK, with patients experiencing discomfort and blurry vision for several days following the procedure. This is because PRK involves removing the outer layer of the cornea, which takes longer to heal compared to the flap created in Lasik surgery.

While both procedures are generally safe and effective, there are some risks associated with each. Lasik patients may be at a slightly higher risk of developing dry eye syndrome or flap-related complications, while PRK patients may be at a higher risk of developing corneal haze or infection. It is important to discuss these risks with your eye surgeon and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of each procedure before making a decision.

Cost is another factor to consider when comparing LASIK and PRK. LASIK is typically more expensive than PRK, but many patients are willing to pay the extra cost for the quicker recovery time and reduced discomfort associated with the procedure.

Various factors such as your corneal thickness, preferred recovery period, occupation, lifestyle, and risk tolerance will determine which choice is ideal for you. It's important to consult with your eye surgeon to discuss your specific needs and determine which vision correction procedure is right for you.

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