Are you still confused which laser eye surgery will you choose? Is Lasik or Prk among your selections? If your answer is a big “Yes”, then, here are some comparisons between these two corrective laser eyesurgery procedures, so that you weigh choices and make a wise decision which could be the ideal treatment for your refractive problem, whether it is farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism.
Lasik and Prk eye surgeries are the most common corrective eye surgery treatments recommended to patients with various levels of visual impairments.
Both laser treatments are considered as out-patient cases wherein the whole eye surgery may only lasts 10-15 minutes for completion.
The difference lies on how each procedure is being performed. Lasik surgery is usually done underneath the corneal flap while the Prk touches the surface of the patient’s cornea.
Lasik (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is done with the use of a blade commonly referred as “microkeratome” or an femtosecond laser instrument to create a thin flap of the cornea, then, with the help of a second excimer laser it reshapes the cornea and corrects the patient’s refractive error and lastly, the flap is put back in place. The patient’s epithelial cells are preserved in a Lasik treatment.
Prk (Photorefractive keratectomy) is performed without the creation of a flap. Here, only 10% of the cornea is touched while the deeper layers of the cornea remain intact. Some patients favor this corrective eye surgery because it preserves a bigger percentage of the corneal tissue. This procedure is typically reserved for patients with thinner corneas that do not qualify for lasik.
Most patients availing the Lasik could already experience an improved vision day after the surgery and better visual results are achieved on the succeeding days. Based on surveys, the Lasik eye surgery recovery time is faster as compared to other eye surgery procedures.
The average period for a patient who chose a Prk treatment to have an improved visual clarity is 3-7 days and most likely ultimate sharpness in viewing things is acquired with the 1-4 week timeframe.
Many individuals choose Lasik because there is no amount of discomfort reported in any part of the treatment, although there might be slight pressure felt from the device that holds the eye open. After the surgery, the patient can go home with minimal irritations expected which can be treated with the application of artificial tear solutions.
Prk, on the other hand may pose higher percentage of post-operative discomfort because the epithelial cells are removed and the average period for re-growth process is 3-7 days.
Nowadays, with more advanced laser technologies being introduced, Lasik remains to be the mostly favored laser surgery treatment, especially for patients with thick corneas. Recovery period for Lasik is faster. There might be some special cases wherein a Prk surgery could be the advisable procedure because of certain issues like thin corneal tissues, very flat corneas and those with scars.
If you aren’t sure which among the refractive surgery types available in most laser eye centers is the right fit for you, talk with your eye surgeon. After all, he/she is the only person who can provide a solid and professional advice based on true facts and diagnosis.