Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) are both laser surgery techniques. The surgical techniques are used to correct refractive errors and reduce a person’s dependence on contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses.
A common concern for patients considering laser eye surgery is whether PRK is better than LASIK. Neither procedure is better than the other. However, PRK may be more suitable for certain patients.
The eye doctors at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute are skilled at providing laser vision correction to patients in the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas County, and Largo, FL. Here, they discuss PRK, LASIK, and when PRK may be better for certain patients as compared to LASIK.
PRK is a type of refractive surgery. It can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During the procedure, a laser is used to reshape the cornea to help the patient see clearly. The cornea is the clear outer portion of the eye. It helps the eye focus light on the retina, which is necessary for clear vision.
During the PRK procedure, the surgeon first carefully removes the top layer of the cornea. The laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is also a type of refractive surgery. Like PRK, it can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and it involves using a laser to reshape the cornea.
Unlike PRK, during LASIK, the surgeon accesses the cornea by creating a thin flap in the outer cornea. The flap is then folded back, like a page of a book, so that the underlying tissue can be reshaped with a laser. Once the procedure is complete, the flap is returned to its original place and heals on its own.
Is PRK Better Than LASIK?
If you are considering laser vision correction you may be wondering whether PRK is better than LASIK. Based off of the above descriptions of the procedures, it may be difficult to tell. Both procedures are safe and effective laser vision correction procedures.
While neither is necessarily better than the other, PRK may be better for certain patients, such as those with dry eye syndrome. PRK may also be better for patients who engage in activities or occupations such as professional sports or law enforcement, where there is a greater risk of facial impact. PRK may be preferred because there is no risk of dislodging a healing LASIK flap with accidental contact to the face.
PRK may be the better option for patients with thin corneas. Corneal thickness can impact whether or not a patient may qualify to undergo LASIK. If corneal thickness isn’t sufficient for LASIK, PRK may be the preferred option.
Contact St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute
The only way to find out if PRK or LASIK is right for you is to schedule an appointment at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute by calling (727) 585-2200 or scheduling online. Our eye doctors look forward to treating patients in the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas County, and Largo, FL.