PRK vs. LASIK
SEO-optimized article on the difference between PRK and LASIK surgeries, written on a freelance contract.
PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) is a type of laser eye surgery designed to correct vision problems like near- and far-sightedness and astigmatism. LASIK (Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis) surgery has the same effect—it is just a slightly different way to perform what is essentially the same surgery. Both surgeries work by correcting the shape of the cornea. PRK is the predecessor of LASIK surgery, but it is still performed regularly
In LASIK surgery, an incision is made on the cornea, creating a “flap” from the outer layer that is held away from the eye like the top of an open cardboard box while the computer-controlled surgical laser carefully reshapes the inner layers of the cornea, repairing imperfections that lead to distorted vision. The corneal flap is then put back in place and heals over the reshaped cornea in a few days’ time.
During a PRK procedure, there is no incision; no corneal flap is created. The laser repairs the distortions or imperfections in vision by correcting the overall curvature of the eye, without the need to cut. This makes PRK a better choice for some people whose eyes meet certain criteria, such as having thin corneas or chronically dry eyes.
The recovery time does differ between LASIK and PRK. The period needed for PRK recovery is longer than the period needed for LASIK recovery. PRK recovery includes prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, usually delivered as eyedrops, to promote healing and reduce discomfort after surgery. The drops are normally prescribed for several months following surgery. PRK patients can expect it to take one to three days for the discomfort, blurring, and other post-surgical effects to subside, and up to six months for vision to reach absolute peak acuity and clarity.
LASIK recovery is much faster. The discomfort following LASIK surgery is usually mild and short-term. Most patients feel normal within several hours, though after the initial bump in visual acuity, their vision continues to improve gradually for several months before reaching peak quality.
Both surgeries are safe and effective, and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction following the procedure, whether that procedure was LASIK surgery or PRK surgery. Choosing between the PRK procedure and the LASIK procedure is a decision best made in consultation with an trained eye doctor who specializes in LASIK, but history shows us that whichever you choose, you’re likely to be very pleased by the outcome.