PRK vs. Custom Lasik vs. Femto Lasik

Laser eye surgery has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any elective operations. It’s fast, safe, and gives you freedom from glasses or contacts! At BoydVision, we offer a variety of visual procedures, but what are the differences between them? When it comes to refractive surgeries, there are three typical options: PRK, Custom Lasik, and Femto Lasik. Each has its unique benefits, which we’ll get into shortly. But first, let’s understand how laser eye surgery works.

How does laser eye surgery correct refractive errors?

Common refractive errors are hyperopia, myopia, presbyopia or astigmatism. Essentially the cornea of the eye has trouble focusing light onto the retina. When this happens, the result is blurred vision. Laser eye surgery permanently reshapes the cornea so that light is focused properly onto the retina, thereby improving vision. 

As noted earlier, BoydVision offers three typical options for people looking to correct these common refractive errors. For all of these operations, a laser is used to reshape the area of the cornea called the stroma. This area of your cornea is underneath the epithelium, which needs to be removed before the operation. How this epithelial layer is removed is the main difference between the three operations. 


Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the first type of laser eye surgery but has since been surpassed by Lasik in terms of popularity. With PRK, the epithelium is removed completely using the excimer laser or an alcohol solution. Since the epithelium is completely removed, recovery takes longer versus other Lasik procedures since this layer needs to regrow.  

Custom Lasik

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis or Lasik has become the standard laser eye surgery over the past decade. It’s effective at correcting refractive errors, recovery is quick, and complications are rare. With Lasik, the epithelium is not removed. Instead, a corneal flap is created using a microkeratome blade then the flap is lifted revealing the stroma. 

After the procedure, the flap is rolled back into place. This greatly decreases recovery time as the epithelium does not need to fully regrow.

Femto Lasik

BoydVision’s newest procedure is Femto Lasik or rather Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Lasik. It is the safest and most effective refractive surgery available. With Femto Lasik, a laser that uses short, infrared pulses creates the corneal flap instead of the microkeratome blade used in our Custom Lasik operation. The use of a laser to create the corneal flap increases precision and predictability, decreasing collateral tissue damage and corneal abrasions. 

Which laser eye surgery is right for me?

For some patients with thin corneas, large pupils, or lifestyles that might traumatize the Lasik flap, PRK is the best solution. Also, some people choose PRK over Lasik because they don’t like the idea of something cutting into their eye. The latest technology used in our Femto Lasik procedure produces the most predictable results and a great reduction in healing time.

But, the only way to know which operation fits your unique needs is to book your free laser eye surgery consultation with BoydVision. We’ll walk you through all of your options, give you our professional recommendation and you’ll also discuss any questions with the surgeon, Dr. Boyd. We are one of the only laser eye surgery clinics where you get to meet the surgeon before your operations to ensure you’re confident and comfortable.