Both LASIK and PRK are refractive procedures that can enhance vision and correct poor eyesight. They are both outpatient procedures and can be completed in less than 20 minutes in most cases. The basic difference between LASIK and PRK surgery is that LASIK correction is performed under a corneal flap, while PRK surgery is performed on the surface of the cornea.
If your cornea is determined to be too thin or your pupils are too large to qualify for LASIK, Dr. Jackson may recommend PRK to help reduce or eliminate your need for glasses.
LASIK is generally ideal for patients who have thick corneas and require faster results. Even though LASIK is the more popular choice, PRK is undoubtedly safer for other people, including those with thin corneal tissue, flat corneas, corneal irregularities or scars.
After LASIK the corneal flap is placed back into its original position after the surgery. The eye has natural suction that allows it to stay in place in order to heal. In PRK there is no flap and the healing occurs on the corneal surface. Healing times vary per person, but typically range from one to three days for flap closure in the case of what is LASIK?. The following day will result in significantly improved vision, with continued improvement over the next few days. PRK takes on average 3-7 days to reach functional levels and anywhere between 1-4 weeks to get to its maximum sharpness.
Traditionally, there is more post-op discomfort possible with PRK surgery, since the epithelial cells have been removed and must regrow (takes 3-7 days on average). Every person is different though, and some PRK patients have little to no discomfort.