Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PKR) vs. LASIK Eye Surgery

PRK vs. LASIK Eye Surgery

Photo Refractive KeratectomyPhoto Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a minimally invasive refractive surgery to repair vision. PRK is similar to LASIK surgery, where the procedure corrects refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that during the PRK procedure, the corneal skin (epithelium) is polished off before the laser treatment where during LASIK surgery, a small flap is cut in the epithelium. LASIK has a quicker healing time where the healing process takes a little longer after PRK. Sometimes, PRK is the best procedure for specific patients. Your pre-operative evaluation will determine which procedure is best for you.

PRK Surgery Process

During the procedure, you’ll receive numbing eye drops to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. The surgeon will gently remove a center surface area of corneal cells, then a laser is used to reshape cornea’s outer surface. This process is typically done within a few minutes and you’ll be awake for the entire process. Once finished, our patients receive a soft bandage that is placed over the cornea to protect the eye and improve comfort during the healing process. The new epithelial cells should grow back within 4-5 days and once it does, your eye doctor will then remove the bandage from the cornea. 

After the PRK Surgery

Directly after the eye surgery, you should rest for a bit and have a friend or family member drive you home. You’ll receive topical antibiotics and pain medication to help with any post-procedure eye pain and discomfort, as well as an anti-inflammatory. In order for us to monitor the healing process, you’ll have a couple of follow-up appointments with us to ensure everything is healing properly for your safety. While the recovery takes longer than LASIK, it may be a couple of weeks before your vision recovers, and longer to everything to equalize.

Advantages of PRK:

  • Deepness of laser treatment is less than with LASIK
  • For those with a thin cornea, PRK is the most suitable option
  • There isn’t a risk of corneal flap issues
  • Lessened risk of compromised corneal thickness

Disadvantages of PRK:

  • Recovery process is slower than it would be with LASIK surgery
  • Final vision takes longer to achieve
  • The risk of post-procedure infection is a bit higher
  • During early recovery phase, there’s some eye discomfort

Have questions about photo refractive keratectomy surgery or need to know how to prep for the procedure? Reach out to the Summit Eye Center team and they’ll make sure you’re as prepared as possible!

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