PRK vs. LASIK: Everything You Need to Know

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You have likely already heard of the LASIK. The procedure is quite popular and successful among many people around the world.

What’s not to love about a vision correction procedure that’s permanent? Many people especially love that it provides visual freedom from glasses and contacts.

But LASIK is not the only vision correction procedure out there. There are others if you don’t qualify for LASIK.

You may be a better fit for something like PRK. Keep reading to learn more about this LASIK alternative!

What Is PRK?

PRK is short for photorefractive keratectomy. It was actually developed around the same time as LASIK.

It’s no coincidence that the two procedures are so similar. During PRK, the cornea is still reshaped.

Like LASIK, PRK aims to correct refractive errors by changing the shape of your cornea. But the middle layer of corneal tissue is the thickest part, making it easier and safer to work with.

After removing the top layer with a laser, a second laser is used to remove minuscule amounts of tissue from the middle layer. The amount and location of tissue removed is determined using high-tech mapping software.

The software plots out the topography of your cornea and guides the laser to completion. This results in much more predictable outcomes.

How PRK Results Compare to LASIK

LASIK follows in the footsteps of PRK very closely, but there is one major difference. While surgeons completely remove the top layer of corneal tissue during PRK, with LASIK, the tissue is instead left attached as a flap.

The flap of tissue is then closed, where it heals on its own. The tissue doesn’t need any stitches or glue. Instead, it can reattach on its own.

This is part of the reason why the LASIK recovery is as short as it is. This change may seem small, but it has a major effect on recovery.

After PRK, your eye needs time to regrow the tissue completely. This process takes significantly longer than simply reattaching existing tissue.

This results in a long and somewhat more challenging recovery experience. One of the biggest differences between PRK and LASIK is the recovery time.

LASIK has a significantly shorter recovery time when compared to PRK. This is one of the primary reasons why LASIK has become the industry standard of vision correction. If there’s such a long recovery period, then why would anyone want to have PRK instead of LASIK? but if that is the case, why would anyone bother with PRK at all?

Some People Can’t Have LASIK and Still Want Vision Correction

The answer is that PRK is a good fit for many people who cannot receive LASIK. To undergo either procedure, you need to go through a thorough consultation and exam.

It’s the only way to ensure your eyes receive the best treatment possible. If you are not a good candidate for LASIK, then PRK is a completely viable alternative.

The results are just as predictable as LASIK and there is no risk of complications from the flap.

Think a vision correction procedure could be right for you? Schedule an appointment at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington, VT, to find out what your options are!

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