Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses a laser in the same way as LASIK, and patients’ vision correction results are similar. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that there is no flap created in PRK.
Only the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea is removed before the laser sculpts the cornea. This epithelium heals back into its normal position over several days.
Because the corneal epithelium is removed in PRK, the patient often has some mild discomfort after the procedure. Topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and oral pain medications can be used to reduce discomfort and speed healing after surgery.
A “bandage” soft contact lens is used to promote epithelial healing, which takes several days.
The thicker corneal flap created in LASIK is not made in PRK, so if there is a concern about potential flap complications, the surgeon may recommend PRK.
If the patient’s corneas are too thin to meet LASIK standards, if he or she had LASIK previously, or if other eye health factors are involved, the surgeon and patient may decide that PRK would be a better choice. If you’re concerned about whether or not you’d be a good candidate for LASIK, take our online free LASIK self-test today!
ICL, or implantable contact lenses, is designed for people with high degrees of refractive errors that cannot be safely corrected with corneal-based refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK).
The ICL is surgically implanted inside the eye in front of the eye’s natural lens. The eye’s natural lens is not removed, so patients can retain their pre-existing ability to focus.