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What Is The Difference Between Lasik And PRK?

What Is The Difference Between Lasik And PRK?

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Lasik vs prk

    Both PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy and LASIK or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis are LASER surgical procedures performed to improve a patient’s eyesight. Although PRK has been in use a lot longer than LASIK, both are widely opted by eye patients worldwide. But the question is, “PRK surgery vs LASIK, which is better?”. We’ll answer that question. But first, let’s see what the two techniques are.

    Both of these techniques are performed by the ophthalmologist to enhance the damaged cornea of your eye. It comprises five transparent and thin layers of soft tissues over your eye that refract and focus the light into your eye, helping you to see. 

    But the primary difference in PRK vs LASIK is that they use different methods to reshape the cornea tissues to correct the vision. 

    When it comes to PRK, your ophthalmologist takes out the first layer of the cornea, also known as the epithelium. Then, they reshape the other layers of the cornea with the help of lasers to fix the irregular bends or curvatures in your eye.

    Then there’s LASIK. As mentioned earlier, the fundamental difference for what is PRK vs LASIK. In this minimally-invasive surgical procedure, the ophthalmologist uses a blade to form a slit in the top layer of the cornea, through which the other layers are reshaped to correct your vision. Then the flap created by the slit is lowered back down after the completion of the procedure. The slit in your cornea will get repaired all by itself in the coming months. 

    There are three primary types of eyesight issues in which your cornea needs correction:

    • Farsightedness: It is an eye problem in which you cannot see objects close to you clearly, also known as hyperopia.
    • Nearsightedness: It is an eye problem in which you cannot clearly see objects distant from you, also known as myopia.
    • Astigmatism: Your eye shape is irregular, causing blurry vision.

    All three of these sight issues can be resolved with the help of PRK and LASIK. 

    The sections coming forth will tell you more about Photorefractive Keratectomy vs LASIK. We will also explain which one will be the correct procedure for you. 

    What Is The Working Procedure For Lasik Eye Surgery Vs PRK?

    Both of these minimally invasive procedures correct your eyesight by reshaping the cornea tissues with the help of tiny blades and lasers. So you must be wondering, “What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?”. Here is a few procedural difference for PRK vs LASIK:

    When it comes to PRK, the eye surgeon removes the top layer of the cornea or its part completely. 

    But in the case of LASIK, the surgeon only makes a tiny slit or flap on the top layer to work on the other layers of the cornea through it. Then, once the cornea has been reshaped, they close the flap, which heals by itself in the coming months. 

    • Procedure For PRK

    At first, the surgeon administers numbing drops to ensure you don’t feel pain during the procedure. They might also provide you with medications for relaxation. 

    It takes the surgeon about 30 seconds to remove the top layer of your cornea’s soft tissues, the epithelium, completely. Then, for the primary procedure, the surgeon uses a precision surgical tool, known as an excimer laser, to reshape the corneal tissue layers to correct the vision. This process usually takes around 30 to 60 seconds. Then the ophthalmologist puts a special bandage-like contact lens on top of your cornea to promote healing. 

    • Procedure For LASIK

    As with PRK, the surgeon starts the LASIK procedure by administering numbing drops to your eyes to ensure no pain. 

    Then, the surgeon cuts a slit or flap in the epithelial layer of your cornea with the help of a tool called a femtosecond laser. This tool helps the doctor move the top layer to work and reshape the layers beneath to correct the vision. The epithelial layer is still attached to your eye so that it can be put back immediately, starting the healing process. 

    Then, like in PRK, the surgeon uses an excimer laser tool to reshape the corneal soft tissues and resolve the curvature problems of your eye. 

    Then, after the epithelial layer flap is put back in its place on the cornea, left to heal in the coming weeks. 

    Recovery Process For PRK Versus LASIK

    One of the most common queries put forward by eye surgery patients is, “What’s the difference between PRK and LASIK in terms of the recovery process?”. 

    As with any other surgical procedure, you are bound to feel a bit of discomfort and pressure. Although there won’t be any pain due to the numbing administered, the moment the surgeon starts reshaping your corneal tissues, you will start experiencing changes in your vision.

    When it comes to PRK, the recovery usually takes around a month. But with LASIK, the initial recovery happens in a matter of days, and you will recover completely in the coming months. 

    • Recovery For PRK

    After having the PRK procedure, the surgeon will put a contact bandage just like a contact lens, which may cause a little discomfort, and you might be more sensitive to light. But it is just till the epithelial layer heals. Also, until the bandage is removed, there will be some blurriness to your vision. 

    Your ophthalmologist will prescribe lubrication drops to ensure the moistness in your eyes. There might also be some medications involved to ensure relief from pain and irritation. Although the vision will be much more improved as compared to before the surgery, it will improve even further as the healing process continues. You might want to lay off from heavy activities like driving.

    The recovery process as a whole may last for around a month, with your vision getting as the days pass. 

    • Recovery For LASIK

    First off, your vision will be much better after having this surgery without the use of contact lenses and glasses. In an ideal case, this procedure can provide you with a perfect vision. 

    Since the epithelial layer is not removed completely, there won’t be a lot of pain and discomfort involved. There may be some burning sensation right after the surgery, but it’ll pass in a few hours. As with PRK, the doctor will provide you with medicated drops for lubrication to relieve irritation. Again, you will recover in a matter of days.

    The recovery after either of these methods will depend on how you take care of your eyes concerning the precautions. 

    Which One Is Better?

    Now you may wonder, “Which is better LASIK or PRK?”. Both are considered to be equally effective when it comes to improving your vision. The primary difference between them is the recovery time. 

    LASIK recovery is faster and smoother than PRK, and the outcome will be the same provided that someone with experience has performed the surgery. 

    People consider PRK to be better than LASIK in terms of safety and effectiveness, as the flap left behind in the LASIK can pose a potential risk of damage in the future.

    But more people opt for LASIK because of its recovery time and smoothness. 

    Risks Involved With PRK And LASIK

    Like any other surgical procedure, there are risks involved with both PRK and LASIK. But LASIK is considered riskier due to the added step of creating a flap on the top layer of your cornea.

    A few possible risks with these procedures include:

    • Visual disturbances: After the procedure, for a few weeks, you may encounter some vision troubles like sensitivity to light, reflections, double vision, etc. Although it usually goes away a few weeks after the procedure, it may become permanent.
    • Distorted vision: If the surgeon removes too many corneal tissues, it may distort your vision. 
    • Flap complications: In the case of LASIK, the flap created during the surgery can result in infections, visual distortion and discomfort. 
    • Dryness in your eyes: This is a common complication with LASIK. For around six months after the procedure, you may feel a slight dryness in your eyes. Use the lubricating medicated drops regularly. 
    • Undercorrection: When your surgeon doesn’t remove enough corneal tissues, it results in ineffective results, especially in the case of resolution for nearsightedness. 
    • Permanent loss of vision: Although minor, both methods have a slight risk of permanent loss of sight. 
    • Astigmatism: In case of an uneven removal of corneal tissues, you may require the use of glasses or follow-up surgery.

    The risk of these complications will be pretty minimal if an experienced ophthalmologist performs the procedure. 

    Eligibility Criteria

    Here are a few eligibility criteria for the candidates of these procedures:

    • Age: You should be over 18.
    • Insignificant change in your vision for over a year.
    • Vision can be improved to at least 20/40.
    • In the case of nearsighted candidates, the lenses should be between -1.00 and -12.00. 
    • Average pupil size in a dark room of 6 mm.

    But not everyone is the right candidate for these procedures. Here are a few candidates who might not be eligible for PRK and LASIK:

    • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • If you suffer from chronic allergies like diabetes or glaucoma.
    • If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis.
    • In case you have thin corneas, they might not be able to take this operation.
    • If the size of your pupils is larger than usual.

    If you have any other queries about LASIK and PRK, you might want to get in touch with the experts at Ujala Cygnus Central Hospital. So book your appointment today!

    For free teleconsultation with our doctor, call us at 88569-88569 or fill the form to share your problem.

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