ASA, PRK, or LASIK, Which is Least Invasive?

I need to correct my vision to 20/20 or better. Right now I have 20/30- and 20/25 with slight astigmatism. I want to join French NAVY. But they dont accept laser correction yet, but are changing rules from 2015. One of the officers told me just to get it now and lie on the exam so I dont waste 3 years. Which procedure is best for my small correction and is less detectable on normal eye exam? Or where I could say "it always been this way"? Thank you very much for your understanding and time!

Doctor Answers 2


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ASA is a fancy way of describing PRK, which is a surface based procedure which reshapes the cornea with the excimer laser.   LASIK does the same reshaping, however it is done under a FLAP which is created in the first step of the procedure, usually (and way less invasively i would add) with a laser.    So, to answer this question, PRK is less invasive, but the healing time is longer and more involved.   While LASIK may be more invasive, it is still incredibly safe when done on the proper candidates, by a careful and skilled surgeon  with the most advanced technology.   Some docs would argue that LASIK is in fact "safer" than PRK since the healing is faster and there is less chance for corneal infection or haze formation.    Go with what your surgeon recommends for you, he probably knows best...  

McLean Ophthalmologist

Which procedure is least invasive? ASA, PRK or LASIK

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LASIK involves creating a flap in the cornea and then, reshaping the cornea while photorefractive keratectomy, PRK and advanced surface ablation, ASA involve only the recontouring part. These procedures are  performed to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and often result in excellent uncorrected acuity.  In the U.S., the Navy has approved the LASIK procedure.  Nonetheless, the shape of the cornea changes after surgery,and certain tests may show a pattern suggesting that you have undergone laser vision correction. 

Sandy Feldman, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

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.