PRK & LASIK: are the results permanent? By Kristina Oneill on September 20, 2013


Are results from PRK & LASIK permanent?


When a person is nearsighted, this means the person has an eye that is too long.  When a person is farsighted it means that they have an eye that is too short.  Astigmatism means that the person has an eye which is not curved in the shape of a perfect sphere.  Their eye is shaped like a football.  All of the above conditions can be corrected by having LASIK or PRK. 

 To answer your question, yes, the results of LASIK and PRK are permanent. They are adjustable in that future correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism can be performed to enhance the original procedure.  We call this a touch up or an enhancement.  When you have your preoperative eye exam, we determine if you have enough corneal tissue to perform both your original procedure as well as test to make sure that you have enough room for an enhancement if needed later.  Dr. Holzman’s enhancement rate is around 1%.  The national average of patient’s needing an enhancement after their original surgery is around 5%.  

When you are in the hands of a skilled refractive surgeon he or she will plan your original LASIK or PRK procedure to get you to your best corrected visual acuity.  If you have a higher RX you may need more that one treatment to get you to your best corrected vision. In most cases, Dr. Holzman is able to let you know that you may need a touch up prior to your original procedure based on your RX.  Dr. Holzman cannot predict how your body heals.  Everyone heals at a different rate so you may need an enhancement but you should wait at least 3 to 6 months to ensure that your vision has stabilized.  You do not want to rush into getting an enhancement.  If you do and your vision is not stable you will have an over corrected result.  Once we have removed corneal tissue, it is gone.  We can always take tissue off, we cannot add it back on.  LASIK and PRK are permanent and you do not want to trust your vision to anyone who will not with you about his her enhancement rate or surgical experience regarding LASIK or PRK.  

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

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