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LASIK or PRK: Which Is Right for Me?

Written by Shannon Wong on April 28, 2016

LASIK or PRK?LASIK surgery is the most popular laser vision correction surgery to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However, LASIK is not the only option available. Some patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK choose to undergo photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Before choosing one of these surgeries, get familiar with both treatments.

About LASIK Surgery

LASIK involves reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser. This is achieved by creating a thin, hinged flap on the surface of the cornea to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue. The laser removes small amounts of the corneal tissue, improving the cornea’s shape. This allows the cornea to more effectively focus light on the retina, resulting in clearer vision. Most patients recover within 24 hours and are able to return to their regular routines within a day or two.

About PRK

PRK involves removing a portion of the cornea’s outer layer, known as the epithelium, in order to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue. The laser is then used to reshape the corneal tissue underneath the epithelial layer that has been removed. Patients are typically fully recovered and can return to work one to two  weeks after surgery.

Advantages of LASIK

LASIK offers a faster recovery time than PRK. LASIK patients are typically fully recovered within 24 hours and can resume driving, reading and computer use within one day. With LASIK, there is also a reduced risk of post-surgery complications such infection, inflammation and hazy vision. LASIK patients typically experience less eye discomfort during recovery than with PRK surgery.

Advantages of PRK

PRK is a good option for patients with extremely thin corneas, irregular astigmatism or who have had prior eye surgery. PRK does not involve making a corneal flap, which means there is no risk of flap-related conditions.

Choosing a Procedure

Both LASIK and PRK are safe and achieve excellent vision correction results. While most LASIK candidates are also eligible for PRK, some PRK candidates are not qualified for LASIK. An experienced eye surgeon from Austin Eye can discuss your options in detail with you in order to determine which one is right for you. To find out if you’re a LASIK or PRK candidate, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Austin Eye today by calling (512) 250-2020.