Although LASIK is an incredible solution to vision correction, it is not suitable for everyone. Depending on your eye’s unique anatomy, any previous laser eye surgeries you have had, and other factors, you may be a better candidate for an alternative laser vision correction solution, such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). This procedure produces outcomes that are very comparable to traditional LASIK.
What is PRK Eye Surgery?
Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, was the first laser eye surgery used for vision correction. Although it predates LASIK surgery, it is still commonly used today in certain types of cases.
The principal difference between LASIK and PRK involves the first step of surgery. During PRK, instead of creating a hinged flap in the surface of the cornea, the outer layer of corneal cells (called the epithelium) is polished and removed. The epithelium grows back over the surface of the eye within a few days of the surgery.
Are You a Candidate for PRK?
PRK may be a better fit for you if you:
Have very thin corneas
LASIK requires corneas to be a certain thickness in order to safely withstand the creation of the corneal flap. If your corneas are thin or have scarring, our laser eye surgeons may recommend PRK instead of LASIK.
Are at a higher risk of flap-related complications
After LASIK, the flap needs a few days to “lock” itself to the surface of the eye and heal. However, certain jobs and hobbies can put you at increased risk of flap-related complications during this recovery period.
For example, if you are a professional athlete, a first responder, a construction worker or a member of the military — or if you regularly play sports recreationally — you could risk dislodging or otherwise injuring the corneal flap while it heals.
Because PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, it may be a safer option for you.
Contact Eye Care of San Diego
PRK is an extremely safe and successful procedure that delivers great visual outcomes. To determine the best treatment option for your specific needs and goals, please schedule a consultation with Eye Care of San Diego today.