Although LASIK is the most popular form of laser vision correction, some patients may be better candidates for Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). PRK is a laser surgery procedure that is an alternative treatment for patients who are not candidates for LASIK. Patients whose cornea may be too thin or irregular are usually not candidates for LASIK but are candidates for PRK. In both LASIK and PRK, the goal is to reshape the cornea to the desired target, thusly reducing or eliminating the need for contacts and glasses.
LASIK vs. PRK
LASIK is a two-step process. The the first step in LASIK is to create a protective flap. The second step is to reshape the cornea with the cool-beam of the excimer laser.
In PRK, Dr. Gladsden will not create a corneal flap. The procedure will begin by removing the protective cells on the surface called epithelium cells. Next, the cool beam of the excimer laser will reshape the eye in the same manner as LASIK.
Most of the time, LASIK and PRK provide the same visual results. However, with PRK, patients will have a slightly longer recovery time. With LASIK, patients generally see very well the day after their procedure. With PRK, the same visual results can take 3-7 days.
Not everyone is going to be a good candidate for LASIK. This can be due to the thickness of your cornea, problems with the surface of the cornea, or if you suffer from dry eye. Others won’t be candidates due to prior trauma to the eye or other prior eye surgery. Some patients may have a lifestyle that requires PRK, such as military special ops, professional boxers, or pilots.
To learn more about PRK and to determine if you are a candidate, contact New Vision Laser Center today. During your consultation, Dr. Gladsden will determine if you are a candidate for PRK or LASIK.