LASIK vs PRK: Optique Explains Your Options

The prospect of enjoying lifelong lens-free vision correction through the miracle of modern eye surgery may be an exciting one, but can also cause its share of confusion. You may not realize, for example, that LASIK instead the only surgical option out there; another technique known as PRK can prove just as effective at correcting common refractive errors. So what's the difference between these two procedures, and why might you choose one over the other? Here's an explanation of LASIK vs PRK from our knowledgeable team at Optique.

Man struggling with his vision wonders if LASIK is right for him.

LASIK Surgery

LASIK is short for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. As the name suggests, this technique makes use of advanced laser technology to reshape the corneas, those transparent spherical "windows" that allow light into the eye. The first step involves making a tiny, precise laser incision that allows the surgeon to lift a flap of outer corneal tissue away, revealing an inner corneal tissue layer. The laser then vaporizes tiny amounts of this underlying tissue to give the cornea new contours -- modifications that compensate for your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The outer flap is put back into place, where it heals up without stitches.

PRK Surgery

LASIK surgery is not recommended for patients whose corneal tissues are abnormally thin. That's because the flap of corneal tissue the laser creates inevitably removes a small amount of the underlying tissue as well. If you're not considered a good LASIK candidate, for this reason, it's time to consider PRK instead. PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. Like LASIK, it makes use of laser technology to make fine modifications to the corneal contours. But unlike LASIK, PRK removes the outer corneal tissue layer completely while leaving the underlying tissue completely intact. It then reshapes this underlying tissue. The eye grows a new outer corneal layer that covers this reshaped tissue.

Let Us Co-Manage Your Refractive Correction Surgery

PRK surgery predates LASIK surgery, and it has some minor disadvantages compared to the newer procedure. The need to grow a new outer corneal layer means that healing may require several weeks. You will also need to be particularly on guard against infection during this healing stage.  The good news is that resulting visual clarity should equal what you could receive from LASIK.

Contact Our Local Eye Doctor to To Learn More About Your Surgery Options

Whichever procedure you choose, our Dallas clinic is right here to provide expert co-management of the entire process. We can guide you toward one procedure, and then refer you to a trusted surgeon. Once your surgery is done, we will administer follow-up examinations to track your healing and check your newfound visual acuity. Call (214) 252-1800 today to schedule an initial consultation and evaluation!