How is PRK different from LASIK? By Kristina Oneill on April 01, 2013


How is the PRK procedure different from the LASIK procedure?  Many patient's want the answer to this question.  Most patients seem to have heard about LASIK, yet they know very little about PRK.  Sometimes patients even view PRK as a lesser procedure.  PRK is a safe and extremely effective procedure for patients who do not qualify as a good LASIK candidate.  People who are best suited for PRK are patients who have thin corneas.  PRK and LASIK mainly differ in the way that the doctor is able to expose the patient's deeper corneal surface that is to be reshaped in order to correct the visual problem.

The outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium, is a soft, rapidly regrowing layer of the eye.  The deeper layers of the cornea, as opposed to the outer epithelium layer, are developed early in life and have limited regenerative capacity.  With PRK, the corneal epithelium is removed gently, which allows your surgeon to reshape the deeper layer of the cornea and correct your vision.  The epithelium cells begin to regenerate after the PRK procedure.  It takes time for the epithelium cells to grow back so your surgeon places a clear bandage contact lens on your eye for 3 to 5 days.  It is true that PRK patients generally have a longer healing process than a LASIK patient, however Dr. Holzman prescribes medication, Vitamin C and Omega 3's to help aid in the healing process.  The PRK and the LASIK patient achieve the same outcome visually once the healing process is complete.

The PRK procedure is distinctly different from LASIK (Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis), because Dr. Holzman uses an Intralase laser to create an epithelial flap instead of removing the epithelium cells to expose the deeper corneal surface.   LASIK (Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis), is faster in the healing process because the Intralase laser creates the epithelial flap instead of removing the epithelium cells to expose the deeper layers of the cornea that need to be reshaped for better vision.  This means that the epithelium cells only need to grow back around the flap diameter.  This is why LASIK is known as a more instant healing process.  The main concern for all patients is to do what is safest for your eyes.  Do your research on both PRK and LASIK.  Both procedures are proven life changers!


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, DC, 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...

(703) 556-9155 Send a message