Should I get PRK instead of Lasik even if I am a candidate for Lasik?
Is PRK Better Than Lasik Since PRK Has No Cutting?
Doctor Answers (5)
PRK versus LASIK
PRK and LASIK have about equivalent long-term outcomes.
The major advantage of LASIK is that the recovery time is much quicker. After LASIK the vision is often 20/20 the next day with minimal discomfort. However, after having PRK there is a week to a month of discomfort and blurred vision.
The costs are also the same, because while there is only 1 laser with PRK versus 2 lasers for LASIK there is more post op care involved with PRK so there is no real difference in cost.
LASIK vs PRK.....Which is Better?
The important thing to know about these two procedures is that the exact same laser treatment is applied to the cornea and the exact same result should be expected. Long term studies of both have proven this to be true. The difference is that Lasik is performed underneath a corneal flap, which, in my practice, is laser made. This results in quicker healing and visual improvement. PRK is performed directly on the corneal surface, so, while the visual results will be the same as Lasik, there is more healing involved, and some additional discomfort and a longer healing time. In my practice, I tend to perform PRK about 10% of the time, and reserve it for those people who have thin corneas or other conditions that prevent them from having Lasik. My patients tend to prefer Lasik becasue of the rapid visual and comfort recovery.
Discuss with your doctor
LASIK and PRK are similar procedures with similar long term outcomes. Make sure the doctor you are considering for your refractive surgery is comfortable and capable with both procedures. This way, a discussion of the pros and cons of each procedure as they relate to your specific eyes can be had. Generically speaking, PRK is recommended for patients with thinner corneas but patients who are eligible for both usually go for LASIK as it has a shorter recovery period.
You might also like...
LASIK vs PRK
While PRK does not require a flap to be cut (using a blade or a laser), it has many of the same risks as LASIK. There is not a significant difference in the two in regards to safety. Most doctors would recommend LASIK over PRK because the healing time is significantly less for LASIK. There are some people who are better candidates for PRK. If it is determined that you are a good candidate for LASIK and PRK, I would tend to recommend LASIK due to the recovery time.
They both have similar long term results, and similar risk
Both PRK and LASIK work well to correct patients' vision, and the results with both procedures are similar at 3 months. With LASIK, the visual recovery is much faster, so patients can often drive their car the next day. With PRK, patients may be able to safely drive 5 or so days after the procedure. It is important to note that some patients may be eligible for PRK but not LASIK based on the shape of the cornea, presence of corneal opacities, or other conditions. The good news is that in general - both procedures work well for patients.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.