LASIK vs. PRK: What’s the Difference?

PRK-vs-LASIKLASIK and PRK are the two most common types of laser vision correction. Both procedures use an Excimer laser to improve the curvature of your cornea, so your eyes can focus light correctly. They also provide comparably excellent results with a low risk of complications. In fact, 95% of LASIK and PRK patients are left with vision good enough to legally drive without glasses (20/40).

The difference between LASIK and PRK lies in the specific method used to alter the cornea. During LASIK, a hinged flap is created in the outer layer of your corneal tissue (called the epithelium) to allow the laser access to the inner layers for treatment. After the procedure is complete, the flap is returned to its original position, where it will naturally heal in place.

In PRK, no flap is created. Instead, the epithelium layer of your cornea is completely removed. It will regenerate in the days following your procedure, but you may have a slightly longer recovery process compared to LASIK. The corneal flap used in LASIK allows your eye to heal faster, which means you should notice vision improvement the very next day. In contrast, you may have to wait at least three days after PRK for your vision to improve. PRK recovery is more gradual since the entire epithelium layer must be given time to regenerate.

Since LASIK involves a shorter recovery period, it is the preferred surgery among patients and surgeons today. However, if you have an especially thin cornea or surface irregularities on the cornea, PRK may be recommended as an alternative to LASIK.

To find out if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction, please contact Brooks Eye Associates today or call (972) 403-1110 to schedule an appointment with our experienced Dallas eye surgeon. We serve patients in Plano, Frisco, and surrounding areas of Dallas, Texas.