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What is the difference between LASIK and PRK ?

PRKBoth procedures utilize the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. In PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the cornea, but in LASIK, the surgeon lifts a protective flap of tissue covering the cornea, and the laser is used underneath this flap. Dr. Walter believes that using the laser under the protective flap (LASIK) produces faster visual recovery, less pain, and less scarring. PRK takes several weeks for the surface of the cornea to heal and become smooth, which is what allows good vision. After PRK surgery, steroid drops are necessary for about two (2) months to help regulate healing (whereas LASIK only requires approximately two (2) weeks). Additionally, in most cases, it is more difficult to “touch-up” PRK procedures (as opposed to LASIK) should that be necessary in the months or years following your initial surgery.

LASIK is Dr. Walter’s refractive surgical procedure of choice. Although LASIK is incredibly safe (less than a one percent (1%) complication rate), patients should be aware that PRK is technically safer since it only involves one laser (no laser is needed to make the corneal flap). Dr. Walter may recommend PRK over LASIK if the patient has one or more of the following conditions: dry eye, thin corneas, certain occupations (usually those susceptible to eye injury), or unusually small eyes.

Dr. Walter is happy to discuss all corrective vision options in light of your particular circumstances at the time of your evaluation.