PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction. Although LASIK is much more popular now, PRK is still commonly performed and for many patients may be the preferred option.
Like LASIK, PRK uses a laser to reshape the cornea. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that LASIK surgery creates a flap in the cornea, while PRK removes the cornea’s entire outer layer.
The outcomes of PRK and LASIK are similar, but PRK has a slightly longer recovery time. The PRK recovery time is longer because it takes a few days to generate new cells that cover the surface of the eye, making patients slightly more at risk for infection and obscured vision. The vision improvement is more gradual with PRK and the final outcome may take several weeks to experience. LASIK patients generally feel less discomfort and experience clear vision much sooner.
PRK offers distinct benefits, though because the entire thickness of the “stroma” layer is available for treatment when the cornea’s outer layer is removed. If the patient’s cornea is too thin to create a corneal flap for LASIK, PRK is often the best option.
Please call our office at 703-528-3910 if you should have more questions or would like to set up a laser vision correction consultation.