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PRK vs LASIK: Which Laser Eye Surgery is Right for You?

  • 5 min read
A patient undergoes imaging of the eye before LASIK surgery

Every set of eyes is unique. Why should your laser vision correction surgery be one-size-fits-all? Patients don’t always realize that they always have a choice regarding their vision care. 

At Khanna Institute, we sincerely believe that choosing the right procedure is the first and most important step. We customize every treatment plan to suit the needs and the comfort levels of our patients. That’s one reason we can boast a 99% success rate in our most popular procedures.

Are you wondering about the pros and cons of PRK vs LASIK laser eye procedures? We’ve crafted this guide to share the most important information about these common options. Knowledge is the best way to ensure you feel comfortable and confident with your decision.

Continue reading to learn more about LASIK and PRK, and choose the option that’s ideal for your eyes.

LASIK vs PRK: The Basics

Both LASIK and PRK should have the same result: eliminating your need for glasses or contact lenses. Both procedures can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in healthy adults.

They accomplish this by reshaping your cornea. The cornea is the structure at the front of your eye that is primarily responsible for sight. Both procedures are versions of refractive light surgery.

The “laser” portion of the procedure is identical in both LASIK and PRK. The parts that differ are the preparation and recovery. LASIK is less invasive than PRK, and recovery only takes a few hours. PRK is somewhat more invasive and requires up to a month of recovery time.

The Basics of LASIK

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. During this procedure, your doctor will create a small corneal flap. This exposes the tissue underneath and allows the epithelium to remain intact.

The Basics of PRK

PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. During this procedure, your doctor will use a special brush to remove cells from the surface of your cornea. After that, they will use a laser to reshape the cornea. In some cases, you may be able to experience a no-cut LASIK procedure known as SuperLasik.

The Consultation

The PRK procedure predates LASIK by several years. Most doctors agree that LASIK technology is somewhat more advanced and more appropriate for the majority of patients. With that said, every laser eye procedure begins with a thorough consultation.

During the consultation, you’ll undergo imaging. The doctor will perform a range of vision tests and take measurements of each part of your eye. These tests will help your doctor determine if you’re a strong candidate for LASIK laser eye surgery. Occasionally, your measurements or your eye’s unique structure will make you a better candidate for PRK.

A team of surgeons performs laser eye surgery on a patient

PRK vs LASIK: The Costs

As a general rule, LASIK surgery is less expensive than PRK surgery. This is because it’s a simpler, less invasive, and pain-free procedure. The surgery takes less than five minutes per eye. Financing is available for LASIK eye surgery at Khanna Institute, which can make it even more affordable.

In contrast, PRK requires a doctor to perform part of the procedure manually. It requires a special contact bandage to heal appropriately, and you may require more postoperative visits. It still tends to be a fairly quick procedure.

LASIK vs PRK: Success Rates

When choosing between LASIK vs PRK, outcomes are an important factor. Luckily, both procedures have fairly high rates of success. About 95% of PRK patients experience 20/20 vision after the procedure. Likewise, about 96% of LASIK patients achieve the same results. At Khanna Vision Institute, our outcomes have been proven higher, with a 99% success rate in both procedures.

LASIK vs PRK: Pros and Cons

Both LASIK and PRK are safe procedures with highly successful outcomes. We’ve put the basic facts in one place so you can easily compare the pros and cons of both procedures.

LASIK eye surgery:

  • Is typically painless
  • Has a recovery time of several hours
  • Is less expensive than PRK surgery
  • Does not require a special bandage for recovery
  • Requires a slit in your corneal tissue
  • Does not damage your epithelium
  • Is at least 96% successful in healthy adults who are strong candidates

PRK Eye Surgery:

  • Has a recovery time of several weeks, up to one month
  • Is somewhat more expensive than LASIK surgery
  • Requires a special bandage during recovery
  • Does not require a slit in your corneal tissue
  • Is at least 95% successful in healthy adults who are strong candidates
  • Often involves some pain during recovery

Am I a Candidate for LASIK?

Certain conditions, measurements, or structures may make you a poor candidate for LASIK. These include thin corneas, enlarged pupils, or a higher-than-average potential for eye trauma. Those individuals should use PRK to avoid issues or complications. Some individuals with extremely poor vision may also be better candidates for PRK.

In certain cases, pre-existing medical conditions may make you a poor candidate for either LASIK or PRK. For example, individuals with autoimmune disorders may struggle during the healing process. Likewise, some individuals with eye conditions such as glaucoma may also experience poor outcomes. Always share other medical diagnoses with your eye doctor during your consultation.

Experience Painless LASIK in Beverly Hills

Once you’ve made a decision about PRK vs LASIK, it’s time to choose a vision care team. At Khanna Institute, we ensure that every patient plays an active role in their treatment.

We even perform consultations with your comfort and convenience in mind. You can choose to visit our office in Beverly Hills or visit a satellite office for a fully remote consultation. Our compassionate team is ready to help you see clearly again.

Learn more about our LASIK Eye Surgery and book a free consultation today. 

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