PRK or Intacs for -5 Myopia?

I would like to reduce my myopia and dependancy on glasses without needing reading glasses. Intacs or PRK could correct me to around -2, greatly improving my distance vision while preserving my near vision. I am leaning towards Intacs as ive read they were safer and reversable.

Me and my parents were wondering why Intacs isn't done often for myopia. Wouldn't Intacs be a great option for many, especially since Intacs can be removed if you aren't satisfied? I would love to learn more about my options, thanks for your time!

Doctor Answers 8

PRK is a better option than intacs

Thank you for your question.

I perform both PRK and Intacs. However - the quality of vision is better with PRK, and I would highly recommend PRK because you can be corrected to 20/20 - while with Intacs you would still have 2 diopters of residual myopia.

The risks with both procedures are probably pretty similar.

I hope this helps

Best regards

Miami Ophthalmologist


INTACS are a great option for some patients because they are removable.  Unfortunately, they are less precise than LASIK or PRK and they are not as effective at treating astigmatism.


INTACS are only FDA approved for up to -3.00 patients with up to 1.00 diopter of astigmatism.  Typically the vision with INTACS is not as clear as with PRK or LASIK.  The nice thing is that if you are not satisfied with your vision, it is relatively simple to remove the INTACS.

Michael K. Tracy, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Best Option for -5.0 Correction

As previously stated, you said nothing about your corneal thickness.  Depending on this and your corneal topography, there is no doubt that the quality of vision will be much better with either LASIK or PRK when compared to Intacs.  There is a reason why these procedures are so much more popular!

Cary M. Silverman, MD
West Orange Ophthalmologist

There are many reasons why PRK or LASIK are preferred for mild (-5.00) myopia

There are many reasons why PRK or LASIK are preferred for mild (-5.00) myopia.  Intacs introduces a foreign body in the cornea.  They also can be visible as they are tiny pieces of “plastic” material placed in the corner.  In my experience, INTACS are best reserved for unusual cases, not routine laser vision correction.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

PRK versus Intacs to fix Nearsightedness

The concept of Intacs is a great one. These are small pieces of plastic that can be easily inserted in the cornea in the surgeons office, resulting in improved vision without glasses. The trouble is the results with Intacs have not been very predictable. We loved the idea that this procedure was reversible, which is true, however, the procedure has to work predictably first, whcih it does not. It sounds like your best option is either LASIK(if your corneas are thick enough) or PRK(if your corneas are thin). If your corneas are too thin for either PRK or LASIK, then you could be evaluated for a Phakic Intraocular Lens.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

PRK is probably your best option

You did not say what your corneal thickness readings were or if there were other considerations that make corneal surgery risky, but assuming that there is no problem with having PRK this is a safer, simpler and more predictable option.

I am also not sure why you would want to have only 3 out of 5 diopters corrected unless this is a limitation of corneal thickness or you are older than it sounds like from your question, where you may want monovision in one eye.  If both eyes are only corrected to -2.00 you will still need correction full time and this is probably not a great idea.  It is also not clear why LASIK is not an option for you but might be a consideration especially with the newer all laser method.  Intacs cannot correct any astigmatism, are slightly riskier for serious complications, and are usually used in higher corrections or when corneal surgery cannot be performed.

Jon Dishler, MD, FACS
Greenwood Village Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Intacs or LASIK?

I agree. Go with LASIK. You'll be happier with your visual results after surgery. And in many practices LASIK is actually cheaper than Intacs. Good luck!

Paul C. Kang, MD
Washington DC Ophthalmologist

PRK or Intacs

In 2010, Intacs are used as a treatment for keratoconus, a corneal thinning disorder. Their accuracy in treating myopic prescriptions is not as precise as LASIK or PRK due to an inability to correct astigmatism, induction of astigmatism due to the suture at the insertion site and the fact that the lens segments come in only a few sizes. I would recommend that you speak about the best option for you with your eye doctor after a complete consultation.

Sandy Feldman, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.