PRK and LASIK: What Are They and What Are Their Differences

For individuals who want to correct their vision without wearing glasses, there are procedures out there for this—PRK and LASIK. Both methods are widely used today, and both aim to improve eyesight. However, how these procedures do so is a little different. Knowing what these procedures are and what can be expected from said procedures can help you pick the right operation to correct your vision.

This article will talk about PRK and LASIK—what they are and what the difference is.

What is PRK?

PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It is a procedure in which an eye surgeon takes away the cornea’s top layer called the epithelium. The doctor then uses lasers to reshape the remaining layers of the cornea to correct any irregularities.

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. The procedure involves the eye surgeon creating a small flap in the cornea, exposing the rest of the cornea to allow lasers to reshape it. The flap is then placed back then and allowed to heal over a few months.

What is the difference in the procedure?

The main difference between the procedures is that in PRK, you lose the top layer of your cornea, while for LASIK, you still maintain it.

With PRK, you will be given a few drops to numb your eye tissues. You may also be given some sedatives to keep you calm during the procedure. After that, you will undergo surgery where the top layer of your cornea is removed. This is followed by the use of an excimer laser to fix the deeper tissues of the cornea. When that is all done, you will wear a special bandage on the cornea to allow it to heal.

With LASIK, the beginning numbing procedure is similar. However, when it comes to the surgery, there is a difference. A small cut into the epithelium will be made using a femtosecond laser. With the flap made and set aside, an excimer laser is used to correct the cornea. After that is done, the flap is placed back on to heal along with the rest of the cornea.

What is the difference in the recovery?

For PRK, your eyes will experience some form of irritation due to the contact-like bandage on your cornea. It will also cause your vision to be blurry while wearing the bandage. You can expect to have it removed after a week. Your vision will improve after it has fully recovered—about a month. On the other hand, LASIK allows you to see clearly almost immediately. As for irritation, some feel a burning sensation for a few hours post-surgery. In any case, you will be given medicated eye drops to take care of these irritations. Full recovery should be expected after a few days.


As you can see, LASIK seems to have the upper hand in terms of recovery speed and effectiveness. However, PRK still holds its ground as a reliable and effective way to correct eye vision, so both procedures are okay, whichever you pick. Of course, always listen to your doctor’s recommendations to ensure you enjoy the perfect vision you have dreamed about.

Valley Laser Eye Centre is a vision correction center located in Abbotsford, utilizing the latest technology paired with fantastic staff to ensure a perfect vision clinic experience.

If you require laser eye surgery, contact us today and see how we can help!

This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.



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