When most people think of laser eye surgery, Lasik is usually the first thing that pops into their heads, and for good reason. Lasik is a safe and effective procedure that has helped millions of people improve their vision. But, there is a lesser-known laser eye surgery called photorefractive keratectomy (or PRK for short) that delivers similar results, for people that may not qualify for Lasik. The only way to know which laser eye surgery is for you is to schedule a free consultation with BoydVision.
Whether you’ve heard of this procedure or not, we’re going to share five things about PRK you probably don’t know.
The Main Difference Between Lasik and PRK
Lasik and PRK both use an excimer laser to reshape your cornea and cure myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The main difference between these two procedures is how the surgeon gains access to your cornea.
In Lasik, a hansatome mechanical keratome device is used to create a flap in the outer part of the cornea called the epithelium. This flap is then folded back so the laser has direct access for sculpting your eye. After the laser does its work (about 20-30 seconds) the flap is then rolled back and massaged into position.
At the beginning of a PRK procedure, the epithelium is removed with alcohol instead of being cut. After this outer layer has been removed, the laser gets to work, just like in Lasik. After the procedure, we bandage up your eye so your epithelium can start healing.
PRK Surgery Takes 15 Minutes
You might be surprised by how quickly the PRK procedure can be done. The actual laser is only on for about 20-30 seconds per eye, and then we flush the cornea with saline and eyedrops. We’ll bandage you up to prevent you from rubbing your eyes so your epithelium can start healing and that’s it! You’ve just had laser eye surgery.
Lasik and PRK Have Similar Results
Since both operations use our precise excimer laser to reshape the cornea, they produce similarly effective results. Laser eye surgeries like Lasik and PRK receive some of the highest patient satisfaction ratings among any elective surgeries. Many people can say goodbye to their glasses or contacts after having one of these popular procedures.
PRK Has Some Advantages over Lasik
You might be wondering to yourself, why would someone choose one procedure over the other?
Even though complications with the Lasik flap are low, PRK eliminates any potential issues like flap dislocation. This is especially important for people who take part in high-risk activities like boxing, football or are in the military, as heavy contact could dislodge the corneal flap.
Lasik also requires a thicker cornea to create the flap. Patients that have thin corneas may not be suitable candidates for Lasik but are perfect for PRK.
Some patients are uncomfortable with the idea of a flap being created on their eye. While this is safe, we do understand that many people will choose PRK over Lasik for personal comfort.
PRK Takes Longer to Heal
Since PRK removes the epithelium, your eyes will need time for it to regenerate. This takes longer than Lasik, where the flap is massaged back into place, and patients can return to work in the next day or so. Average recovery time for PRK can be a few weeks long.
For both operations, full recovery depends on the individual but usually takes a few months.
Find Out What’s Right For You
The only way to truly find out which option is best for you is to visit BoydVision. We’ll run you through some eye tests to fully understand your needs and then we recommend the best course of action. It’s possible to qualify for only one type of laser eye surgery or all of them, so it’s best to discuss your options with our experienced and qualified team. Schedule your free laser eye surgery consultation with BoydVision today.