LASIK and PRK are both laser vision correction procedures that can help you have good vision without the use of glasses or contacts. The difference is that in LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea to allow reshaping of the cornea’s interior, while in PRK the reshaping of the cornea is performed at the surface.

This page contains basic descriptions of the two procedures, including the benefits and drawbacks of each, but cannot tell you which is right for you. To get personalized recommendations about yourlaser vision correction options, please call 855-328-0201 or email Kelly Laser Center for a consultation at our Manhattan or Long Island, New York location.

Understanding LASIK and PRK

PRK was the first form of laser vision correction to get widespread use. In PRK, a laser is used to remove part of the cornea, the clear outer surface of your eye, which includes the epithelium (outermost layer) of the cornea. The epithelium grows back, but the interior of the cornea retains its new shape, which changes the focus of the cornea so that light is focused directly on the retina, which translates the light into electrical impulses that can be sent to the brain.

In LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea and folded aside to allow the interior of the cornea to be reshaped without removing the epithelium. The flap is then placed flat onto the reshaped cornea, where it bonds..

Both procedures give outstanding vision correction results, with about the same high percentage number of patients getting 20/20 vision.

Advantages of LASIK

LASIK has largely taken over as the main laser vision correction procedure because it has many advantages over PRK. The main advantage in LASIK is that the results are essentially immediate. Most people see at or very close to their finished results on the day of their procedure. Because PRK removes the epithelium, PRK patients don’t experience improved vision until the epithelium grows back, which can take up to two weeks.

There are other minor advantages of LASIK. First, it results in less discomfort than PRK. Because the surface layer of the eye is where the eye’s pain nerves are, PRK results in notable discomfort, while LASIK patients generally report minimal discomfort. Also, because the outer layer of the cornea is removed, the remaining part of the eye must be protected, so PRK patients have to wear bandage contact lenses to protect their eyes.

Advantages of PRK

PRK does have some advantages over LASIK that make it the right choice for some people. First, because it is not necessary to make a flap in the cornea, it can be used in people with thinner corneas who are not good candidates for LASIK.

Also, PRK has a lower risk of the dry eyes complication that some people experience after LASIK. People who suffer from dry eyes before laser vision correction should consider PRK.

During your consultation, we will talk about the two procedures and which is right for you. Please contact Kelly Laser Center today to schedule a consultation at our Manhattan or Long Island office.