LASIK versus PRK - A smart comparative review…


PRK and LASIK eye surgeries are two most common and important types of corrective eye surgery that work to correct vision by reshaping the cornea so light enters the eye differently. Both have benefits and drawbacks, which are important to learn and understand before choosing the best procedure for you.

Feature LASIK PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
Uses / Indications LASIK is the preferred option for higher corrections of shortsightedness, farsightedness and high astigmatism. PRK is the preferred option for lower amounts of correction, eyes with surface irregularities, those with thin corneas and patients predisposed to trauma such as athletes.
Procedure In LASIK surgery, the surgeon creates a corneal flap that remains attached to the eye. The flap is gently lifted and the inner cornea is exposed. The laser beam starts to re-sculpt the cornea and then the surgeon puts the flap back into the original position. PRK works by removing the epithelium or first of the five layers of the cornea. After this top layer is removed, the inner layers of the cornea are exposed and the laser results the curve of the eye.
Procedure time Lasik allows for both eyes to be done at the same time and hence is done and completed within an hour or two. Because clear vision takes longer after PRK, a doctor will correct each eye a week or two apart.
Advantages In LASIK, no stitches are required and the flap normally stays in place because of the natural ocular pressure. A contact is normally not necessary after LASIK procedures. The benefit of PRK is that no needles or incisions are required for the procedure, making it a good choice for those who have sensitivity to others touching their eye. 
Discomfort Minimum or no discomfort is found in majority of patients undergoing LASIK. There is more discomfort with PRK because, unlike Lasik, which creates a small flap in the cornea, PRK removes the outer layer of the cornea. 
Cost On average, the LASIK surgery typically costs $1,000 to $15, 00 or more per eye per eye. This does not include the costs for any follow up examinations, operations, or prescriptions. The typical cost of the PRK surgery on one eye is about $1,800, though it can sometimes be found as low as $1,350 and as high as $2,500, depending on where you live and the surgeon you choose.
Recovery Following LASIK, eye drop medication is used for about one week and the patient can normally return to work or normal activities within three days. Although the healing can happen quickly for some, it may take a few months for vision to become stable.  Lasik patients may return to normal activities the day after surgery After PRK surgery, eye medication is used to prevent infection and promote healing, while a contact is placed on the eye to prevent infection in the first week after the surgery. It will take approximately three to four months for the epithelium to regenerate.  Before resuming daily life activities, PRK patients will usually require a couple days of rest.
LASIK versus PRK

All in all, PRK is a conventional type of laser eye surgery is best suitable for patients who suffer from certain corneal abnormalities that do not allow them to undergo regular surgery. In PRK, an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) removes excess corneal tissue from the eye by an excimer laser. However, due to certain associated complications such as pain, longer recovery time and resulting vision problems of haze or blurriness in some patients, PRK is now was being largely replaced by LASIK and other procedures. LASIK, on the other hand, is the most frequently practiced or common type of eye laser. Those people who have a normal cornea that can resist a cut through both the outer and middle layer are good candidates for Lasik. Hence, LASIK uses a blade to create a small flap in the cornea to provide laser access, It is commonly performed to correct farsightedness. LASIK surgery is completed quickly (within 2 minutes) and is relatively less risky as compared to other eye surgeries. The recovery time is usually one to two days.

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