Does PRK Deliver The Same Results As LASIK?

Young woman smiling after LASIK

As great as LASIK is, it isn’t for everybody. In fact, to receive the procedure, you need to go through an extensive consultation at Vermont Eye Laser.

If you do not meet the requirements for LASIK, then there are often things you can do to fix the issues so that you qualify. But in some cases, you may need to settle for an alternative procedure.

One such procedure is PRK. Keep reading to find out if PRK delivers the same results as LASIK!

LASIK Vs. PRK: How They Work

LASIK and PRK are actually very similar surgeries. Both involve altering vision by removing minuscule amounts of corneal tissue from precise parts of the cornea.

By removing corneal irregularities, they both allow light to pass through the cornea. This is what handles directing and focusing most of the light that enters the eye onto the retina uninterrupted.

But there is one key difference that makes them distinct from each other in a very important way. First, let’s go through how LASIK works.

How LASIK Works

To begin, the LASIK patient’s eyes are numbed with anesthetic eye drops. This prevents any pain during the short procedure.

Then, a special cutting tool called a femtosecond laser creates a small flap in the surface level of the cornea. This flap is then lifted so that the surgeon can access the middle layer of corneal tissue.

The middle layer is important as this layer is significantly thicker. It is necessary to have a solid amount of corneal tissue for the surgeon to work with. If there isn’t enough tissue, the surgeon cannot correct the corneal curvature.

After lifting the flap, a different laser, called an excimer laser, blasts away microscopic amounts of tissue. This is in predetermined places using computer software to map the way.

The use of computers and lasers in modern LASIK and PRK makes the procedures more streamlined and predictable. Once the necessary corrections have been made, the flap is closed. LASIK does not need stitches since the tissue will simply reconnect itself.

How PRK is Different from LASIK

This last bit is what makes PRK different from LASIK. PRK does not involve a flap at all.

Instead, the part of the top layer of the cornea is completely removed. The opening must close by itself, using a special bandage contact to cover it while it heals so that the wound isn’t exposed.

This can make recovery a bit more challenging and lengthy, which is why LASIK is the preferred method. But for those that don’t qualify for LASIK, PRK is a fantastic next option.

So why choose PRK? Although the recovery from LASIK is easier than PRK, PRK does not carry the risk of flap complications. Flap complications are something that LASIK has, though they are low.

In any case, PRK delivers results that are very comparable to LASIK. As long as you take care of your eyes while they recover, you can achieve vision that is just as improved as it would have had you gotten LASIK!

Wondering if there’s a vision correction procedure that’s right for you? Schedule an appointment at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington, VT to discuss your options!

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