Lasik vs. PRK

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 14. February 2014 09:19

dr. robert benza

What is Lasik and how is it different than PRK? Over the last 15 years, millions of patients have undergone refractive procedures in attempt to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses or contacts particularly for distance vision. In the 1990's, PRK was very popular and successful. It was most often used in patients with myopia (near-sightedness) and astigmatism.  In the last 10-15 years, Lasik became very popular. Lets discuss how each of these procedures work.
PRK and Lasik are procedures which utilize laser technology to alter the shape of the cornea. The change in shape allows the cornea to focus the light on to the retina without glasses or contacts.  PRK is performed at the very outer surface of the cornea. A few cell layers are removed (creating a small abrasion) and the laser is then applied
flattening the central cornea in a patient with myopia. Typically, a contact lens is applied to allow the abrasion to heal. The new flattened cornea subsequently focuses the light to the retina without the need for glasses. Lasik works similiarly except that the treatment is placed under a flap.  Interestingly,  over the years,  the results of Lasik versus PRK are very equivalent.  Lasik has the advantage of no abrasion (more comfort postoperatively). However,  PRK which is more uncomfortable initially doesn't have the worry of flap problems in the future (which are rare).  Many surgeons have gone "back to the surface" and are performing modified versions of PRK to reduce the risk of flap issues.
Lasik and PRK are two procedures which have been very successful for patients over the years. There are many factors which determine whether a patient is a candidate for either procedure.  If you have an interest, contact your  eye care professional to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these types of procedures. 
Remember, protect those eyes!


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Comments (1) -

2/17/2015 2:07:33 AM #

I want to know the the advantages and disadvantages of these types of procedures.
and is it very sensitive Remember, protect those eyes!

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