Although LASIK is most often used for vision correction surgeries, PRK surgery may be the best procedure in certain circumstances. Comparing prk vs lasik, Why did the use of LASIK spread over PRK? The obvious answer: because of the speed of recovery. A LASIK patient sees clear within a few hours, and with PRK, it takes days. And the PRK hurts more. But LASIK introduces a step in the intervention (cutting the flap) that adds intraoperative and post-surgical risks.
Let’s try to see the differences and similarities: The Excimer laser is used in both techniques, at very similar doses, and with very similar mechanics. In PRK, the corneal epithelium (which is the most superficial layer of the cornea) is removed, and the laser is applied over the exposed corneal stroma. In LASIK, a “slice” of the cornea is cut, that “slice” is lifted, the laser is applied, and the previously lifted “slice” or flap is repositioned.
LASIK Vs. PRK: Which Technique Is Better?
Both techniques are equally effective in terms of the visual results sought, so the choice of one or the other is made based on the properties of the patient’s eye and other considerations evaluated by the ophthalmologist during the tests performed in the preoperative period.
The LASIK technique is the most used today for most patients, both for its faster recovery and a lesser degree of discomfort in the postoperative period.
The PRK technique is indicated in patients who have a fine cornea and in patients who have an important sporting activity (athletes) or who have a high possibility of having a direct blow to the eye due to their professional activity (police, firefighters, military, etc.) also with the PRK technique we can treat higher refractive errors in relatively thin corneas.
Differences In The Postoperative
Visual recovery is somewhat faster with LASIK and the degree of discomfort so that in 24-48 hours, patients are usually in a position to carry out their usual activities. In PRK techniques, the process can last 3-4 days, requiring stricter monitoring during those first days, but in some instances, there is better visual quality in the medium and long term.
That small difference has consequences:
- It is technically simpler. Fewer surgical complications.
- The cornea is more “solid.” It is more convenient for patients who can receive goals in the eyes (athletes, etc.)
- Tear production is less disturbed.
- Absence of postoperative complications with the flap, which are rare but possible.
- The first two or three days, it hurts. Sometimes quite a bit.
- Slower recovery. Clear vision can take two to three weeks.
- The possible appearance of “haze,” which is a clouding of the cornea, slightly blurs the vision. Now less frequent with the use of mitomycin.
- Very fast recovery within a few hours.
- Without pain.
- No risk of Haze
- Possible surgical complications with the flap.
- Tear production is more affected. The eye may be drier for longer.
- The architecture of the cornea is further weakened. Before a strong blow, it can be damaged more easily.
- Regression (part of myopia returns) somewhat more frequent.