LASIK and PRK are both very effective and safe procedures today. People often tend to write about the negative aspects of having laser vision correction such as having to be out of your contact for weeks before your determined to be a good candidate or that they had a red spot on the eye for a week after the procedure even though they have a visual acuity that is better than 20/20 vision! The truth is that there are risks involved, there are side effects as well. But you have to understand the risks and the side effects and how long they last in order to really appreciate this procedure and embrace it. LASIK and PRK differ in that LASIK heals a bit faster since Dr. Holzman creates ap corneal flap and then performs the laser vision correction treatment under this flap, which is then replaced and secured at the end of the surgery. PRK is done on the surface and there is no corneal flap, so the surface takes a while longer to heal. Your vision is more blurry in the first week when compared to a LASIK patients first week. PRK is done on patients with thinner corneas and sometimes on patients that have mild corneal warpage.
The side effects after both LASIK and PRK procedures are temporary and usually easily dealt with. PRK patients experience some minor scratchiness and an aching sensation during the first week and then it goes away. The first few months patients may have mild glare and haloes around lights, especially at night. Your vision may not be crisp during the first month, but as you heal it usually becomes crisp after the first month.
There is very mild dry eye with PRK and the patient should use lubricant drops several times per day for the first few months. The vision after PRK is remarkably stable and has been proven to be stable at 10 years through large studies done in our industry. PRK is done sometimes on Military personnel and occasionally on Law enforcement as well, but most Military patients these days will choose LASIK as they have been approved for it.
LASIK is characterized by some stinging and tearing during the first 3 hours, but DON’T WORRY! We give you some numbing drops to take the sting out. We recommend a 3 hour nap after surgery and then the patient usually feels GREAT! The next few days there is some mild haziness, but usually you can see 20/20 on the first day- most people can drive without problem. There will be glare and haloes around lights, especially at night, which usually lasts for a few weeks. Dry eyes is the main thing we watch for and the GOOD news is that with iLASIK (Blade-less, Intralase and Custom combined), the dry eye is MUCH less than what was seen in previous types of LASIK. Also, the incidence of Dry Eye is lower. Nonetheless, we will test your eyes and if you show any sign that there might be dryness afterwards, we will be pretreating you with special medicated drops (RESTASIS and others) which will help you heal. We will also tell you that you should avoid wind in the eyes, turn vents away from face, turn off ceiling fans, and lubricate at the computer terminal for a few months after the surgery. There is less than a 1% chance that the patient may need what is termed an enhancement, which is a secondary procedure to “tighten” up the result. I have one of the lowest enhancement rates in the country, and it is a testament to my phenomenal staff and very strict protocols. We are perfectionists! All of us are dedicated to helping you achieve your ultimate goal of achieving excellent vision without glasses or contacts!