The Difference Between LASIK & PRK

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to cook an egg. Or in the case of corrective vision, there’s more than one type of laser refractive procedure. If you’ve looked into LASIK or heard from folks who have experienced it, chances are you’ve also heard PRK mentioned in passing. 

Both are surgical procedures undergone to correct poor vision or certain vision problems by reshaping the cornea. The primary difference is that LASIK uses a laser to create and lift a flap, reshapes the cornea, and replaces the flap. (See related What is LASIK?) PRK uses medicated solution to remove the first of five, thin, transparent corneal layers and makes adjustments to the underlying layers of the cornea.

Both surgeries have proven to be safe and effective over the long term. Outside of the procedural differences, the biggest difference patients experience between the two surgeries is in their healing time. Patients who have LASIK typically experience discomfort and a healing period of just a few days, while PRK can take up to a month or more to fully heal.

PRK is recommended in a few instances. The most common reasons for a PRK recommendation are when the eye doesn’t have enough corneal tissue for a LASIK incision flap to heal well, or scarring or damage from contact lenses. Other instances where PRK is a better fit are for those in very active professions who are prone to eye injuries that could damage a LASIK incision flap.

To find out whether LASIK or PRK is a better fit for you, call (785) 273-8080 to schedule a consultation.