PRK vs. LASIK
When you make the decision to seriously consider having vision correction, you may be confused by all of the options available. While LASIK vision correction is one of the most well-known vision correction procedures, it is not always the best option. At Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center, we specialize in many different vision correction options and base our treatment recommendations on each patient’s unique vision challenges and goals.
How PRK Differs from LASIK
At the heart of the procedure, both LASIK and PRK involve the use of an excimer laser to remove tiny amounts of corneal tissue to create a more ideal shape and correct a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). This allows light to focus on the retina for clear vision.
How your doctor accesses this corneal tissue is where the two procedures differ:
- LASIK: your doctor creates a hinged corneal flap that is folded back for excimer laser treatment and then replaced on the cornea where it begins to heal immediately. There is a risk of flap complications with LASIK.
- PRK: your doctor removes a thin layer of tissue on the cornea (the epithelium). After the excimer laser treatment is complete, the epithelium needs time to heal, which typically takes 3-5 days.
Both PRK and LASIK are outpatient procedures performed in our in-office, AAAAHC surgical facility, Solutions In Sight Laser and Surgery Suite. Both take equal amounts of time to perform. PRK treats the surface of the cornea and is a no-flap alternative to LASIK. For this reason, it can be considered the safest form of laser vision correction while still providing the same laser technology and outcome. Using very powerful numbing drops, the epithelium (a thin layer of clear, protective skin that covers the cornea) is removed. Then in a matter of seconds, the excimer laser sculpts the surface, removing microscopic layers of tissue. The procedure is done under topical anesthesia and takes about 10 minutes to treat both eyes.
After treatment, a protective contact lens bandage is placed on the eye to make it more comfortable during the healing process. Usually within 3-5 days, the epithelium is fully healed. You should expect some discomfort for the first 24-48 hours. You will be given instructions on how to manage the discomfort as well as eye drops to speed healing and prevent infection.
Your functional vision should return in 3-7 days while full visual results should be recognized within 3-6 weeks. During your consultation, your eye doctor will discuss what you should expect during and after PRK surgery.
So, which is better: PRK or LASIK?
The answer to this question depends on your eye anatomy and eye health. Only a qualified, experienced ophthalmologist can perform the level of assessment needed to identify the right treatment for you. Our team at FSN Eye Center can do just that…and we’ll do it for free.
Contact us today to schedule your free Vision Correction Screening and find out if PRK in Bourbonnais, IL, is right for you.