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How To Know If PRK Or LASIK Is Right For You

Both PRK and LASIK are types of refractive surgeries used to correct vision and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contacts. The only way to know for sure if PRK or LASIK is right for you is to be examined by an experienced surgeon.

Patients undergo a series of tests to determine eligibility for one or both of these vision-correcting procedures. Some patients may be good candidates for one but not the other, and only a refractive surgeon like Dr. Marten and our team of ophthalmologists can determine which procedure is better for your eyes.

In general, you need to be physically healthy and have healthy eyes. Another important factor is your desire to eliminate or reduce your need for wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Once those two issues are defined, the next step is to establish if PRK or LASIK is right for you and your eyes. Based on the test results sometimes PRK may be the better choice for a successful outcome. Here’s why…

When PRK Might Be a Better Option

A patient must have a sufficient amount of corneal depth to have LASIK. If the surgeon determines the cornea is not thick enough, then PRK will be the better choice. If LASIK is performed on a patient with insufficient corneal tissue it may weaken the structure of the cornea and cause decreased vision.

Some professionals, like first responders, military, or law enforcement are better suited for PRK.It is recommended that certain branches of the military have PRK based on their specific duties.

Watch this video below to learn more about common Lasik vs. PRK questions and Answers:

How PRK And LASIK Are Similar

LASIK and PRK are both excellent for visual acuity. Both procedures change the shape of the cornea using a cool laser. This allows light to fall directly on the retina for clear vision.

LASIK and PRK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In addition, they are out-patient procedures that take approximately 15-20 minutes for the surgery. Furthermore, Both procedures require follow-up visits with your surgeon to monitor the healing process.

Most of all, their is a high satisfaction rate among PRK and LASIK patients.

How PRK And LASIK Differ

The main difference between PRK and LASIK is how the surgeon reaches the inner cornea to perform the laser treatment.

  • With LASIK, a thin layer of surface cells called a flap is lifted with the laser and preserved. Once the cornea is reshaped, the flap is repositioned for healing.
  • With PRK, the top surface of the cornea is removed before the surgeon begins the laser treatment, leaving an irregular surface.

Because the surface cells must regenerate with PRK, the healing process takes a bit longer than with LASIK. Most patients have more discomfort and are prescribed pain medications and drops. A protective contact lens may be applied for a period of time, and more follow-up visits are usually required after PRK.

Same Excellent Outcomes

Regardless which surgical procedure is right for you, all clinical data shows patients have the same excellent outcomes after PRK as they do with LASIK.

Once the healing process is complete, a PRK patient may have the same results: great vision!

Come find out if PRK or LASIK is right for you.

Contact the experienced eye professionals at 
South Texas Eye Institute.