The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that in LASIK a thin flap is created in the cornea to access the inner stromal treatment layer, whereas in PRK the cornea's surface layer cells are removed to expose the treatment layer and no flap is created. For both PRK and LASIK, the excimer laser then sculpts the treatment layer of the cornea to correct vision.
The initial recovery after PRK is slower than with LASIK with a few days of discomfort as it takes a few days for new surface cells to regrow over the cornea after PRK. Most PRK patients notice an improvement in vision immediately after surgery, after which vision improvement is gradual and the final outcome can take several weeks. The final results of PRK surgery are comparable to LASIK.
PRK does offer some distinct benefits compared to LASIK. Because PRK surgery does not create a corneal flap, the entire thickness of the underlying stromal layer is available for treatment which allows for the treatment of higher amounts of near-sightedness. PRK surgery may also be the best option for patients with thinner corneas, or with vocational or sports-related reasons why a corneal flap is not advised.
If you are a patient where PRK is a better option than LASIK, your surgeon at New Vision Laser Center will discuss this with you and answer all your questions at your free consultation.
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