PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction. Although LASIK is much more popular now, PRK is still commonly performed and sometimes offers particular advantages for some patients.
Like LASIK, PRK uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that LASIK surgery creates a flap in the cornea, while PRK removes the cornea’s entire outer layer.
The outcomes of PRK and LASIK are similar, but PRK has a slightly longer recovery time. The PRK recovery time is longer because it takes a few days to generate new cells that cover the surface of the eye, making patients slightly more at risk for infection and obscured vision. The vision improvement is more gradual with PRK and the final outcome may take several weeks to experience. LASIK patients generally feel less discomfort and experience clear vision much sooner.
PRK offers distinct benefits, though because the entire thickness of the “stroma” layer is available for treatment when the cornea’s outer layer is removed. If the patient’s cornea is too thin to create a corneal flap for LASIK, PRK is often the best option.
If you’re interested in learning more about PRK and LASIK, call Virginia Eye Consultants at 800-321-EYES (3937) to schedule your free consultation.