smiling woman with sunset in the background

LASIK is often the first procedure people think of when it comes to permanent vision correction. While LASIK is the most well-known vision correction procedure, it is not the only option.

And, it may not even be the best option for you. There are many alternatives to LASIK.

Some of them only exist to fill in for patients who are not eligible for LASIK. Others may be better options for you if you can get them.

One of the most common LASIK alternatives is PRK. Keep reading to learn more about PRK and why you should consider it as a LASIK alternative.

What is PRK?

Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, was the precursor to LASIK during LASIK’s development. That’s why the two procedures are incredibly similar.

Both use laser technology to reshape your cornea. Reshaping your cornea is an excellent way to correct your vision permanently.

Both procedures also do the reshaping on the middle layer of your cornea, where it is thickest. The difference between the two is how the surgeon accesses this middle layer of corneal tissue.

During LASIK, they create a flap in the top layer of corneal tissue. This flap gets opened but remains attached throughout.

At the end of a LASIK procedure, it gets folded back onto your eye and heals independently. No stitches or glue are necessary. The tissue attaches to itself. 

PRK, on the other hand, removes the top layer of your cornea entirely. It will regrow after the procedure.

While recovering, a unique bandage contact protects the exposed cornea. This single difference is the only difference between the two procedures.

It may seem small, but it has a profound effect on recovery. LASIK recovery is faster than PRK because less tissue needs to regrow.

Why Choose PRK Over LASIK?

If PRK creates a longer recovery, why would anyone choose it? The answer is security.

While LASIK is a very safe procedure for many people, it isn’t for everyone. And having a corneal flap during recovery has a higher risk of complications than not having one at all.

Even after you are fully recovered from LASIK, there is still a chance your flap could come undone. This risk makes PRK popular among athletes who cannot risk any flap issues, ever.

PRK is also especially useful for patients who have abnormally thin corneas. Your surgeon won’t need as much tissue to perform the procedure safely.

Even with the higher risk of complications, LASIK is still one of the safest procedures in existence. However, PRK can provide hope for a future with clear vision for those who are not a good fit for LASIK.

Schedule a Consultation

A consultation will allow you to learn more about PRK and LASIK and is the only way to find out which one is right for you. There are also other alternatives available.

Schedule a consultation at Kovach Eye Institute in Elmhurst, IL. Determine which vision correction procedure is best for you!