PRK vs. LASIK By Andrew Holzman on May 24, 2011

PRK Virginia

LASIK and PRK are both safe and effective laser vision correction procedures that permanently correct myopic, hyperopic, and astigmatic vision. LASIK is generally the favored treatment because it results in less pain, a quicker recovery, and almost immediate results. Yet myself and other surgeons still recommend PRK surgery to a select group of patients. In this post, I review the key differences between the two laser vision correction treatments so our Washington, DC LASIK patients have a better understanding of their options.

Candidates

Candidates for LASIK and PRK surgery must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic vision
  • Have had a stable vision prescription for at least one year
  • Not suffer from other serious eye conditions
  • Not be pregnant or nursing when they undergo treatment

Unfortunately, some patients are not suitable candidates for LASIK surgery because they have certain corneal conditions such as corneal scars or thin corneas. These patients may be able to undergo LASIK alternatives such as PRK.

Procedure

The LASIK and PRK procedures differ in the way that underlying corneal tissue is exposed to the excimer laser so the cornea can be flattened, steepened, or reshaped. In LASIK surgery, I create a three-sided hinged flap in the outer layer of the cornea using a blade microkeratome or Intralase® laser. The flap is open while the excimer laser reshapes the cornea, then closed so the flap can heal on its own following surgery.

During PRK surgery, the epithelium (the outer layer of the cornea) is completely removed. I then precisely reshape the outer cornea, rather than the inner corneal tissue, with an excimer laser. Finally, bandage contact lenses are applied to the eyes, and must be worn for three to five days after surgery to promote healing and regrowth of the epithelial layer.  

Recovery

The LASIK recovery process is quicker and more comfortable than the one experienced by my Washington, DC PRK patients:

  • LASIK patients typically experience clear vision the morning that they wake up after surgery. PRK patients may have blurry vision for one to five days after surgery and may not experience their best possible vision until one to six months after surgery.
  • LASIK patients do experience some pain about two hours after undergoing surgery, but this usually fades within a few hours. PRK patients may experience discomfort for three to five days after surgery.
  • Both LASIK and PRK patients may be given protective eyewear, eye drops, and medication after surgery; PRK patients will also be required to wear bandage contact lenses.

Cost

PRK and LASIK surgery both require the use of advanced laser vision correction technology. Therefore, the cost of both treatments is similar and depends on the degree of the patient's refractive errors.

If you are interested in undergoing LASIK or PRK surgery, contact my practice today.  

Related to This

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington D.C. area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at one of our five locations, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (703) 556-9155.

Contact Us Today

Dr. Holzman is the best - very honest, very professional yet very friendly and personable. Ben E.

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite

Gainesville Office

7538 Limestone Dr
Gainesville, VA 20155

Closed Today

McLean Office

7930 Jones Branch Dr
Ste 250
McLean, VA 22102

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

Rockville Office

11200 Rockville Pike
Ste 150
Rockville, MD 20852

Open Today 10:30am - 7:00pm

Charlottesville Office

630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy
Ste 180
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm

Washington Office

1801 K St NW
Ste 500L
Washington, DC 20006

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

What is the best time for you?

Add additional time

Which location would you prefer?

Tell us a bit about yourself...

(800) 555-5555 Send a message