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What is the difference between LASIK and PRK

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Once we’ve evaluated both your visual goals and your lifestyle as well as the unique characteristics of your eyes, we’ll recommend either LASIK or PRK as your best option. It helps to know, though, what the differences between the two procedures are. Both LASIK and PRK laser eye surgery use a laser to reshape the cornea in order to improve the focus of the eye.

With LASIK surgery, one laser – called a femtosecond laser – precisely creates a thin flap in the cornea. Dr. Dale uses special instruments to gently lift that flap and then uses a second laser – an excimer laser – to reshape the cornea. The corneal flap is then replaced. The flap acts similarly to a bandaid, with less discomfort and a quicker return to clear vision than with LASIK’s cousin, PRK surgery.

With PRK surgery, rather than creating a flap, Dr. Dale gently removes the surface layers of the cornea. Then the same laser that is used to reshape the cornea for LASIK – the excimer laser – is used to change the focusing power of the cornea. With PRK surgery, a bandage contact lens is then placed on the eye, and the surface layer that was removed grows back over the course of approximately one week. Clear vision occurs more slowly with PRK – usually taking 2-4 weeks – but is a safer procedure for some patients.

This video can help you visualize the differences, and we’ll help you know the best choice for you.

View Video

LASIK: Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis

PRK: Photo-Refractive Keratectomy

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