PRK and LASIK are both refractive surgeries that can improve your vision and reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses.

Each procedure helps patients with different needs, and Dr. Holzman helps patients decide which surgery is right for them.

Explore the differences in these procedures offered by Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland...

The Basics of PRK and LASIK



Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. During the procedure, the entire outer layer of the cornea, the epithelial layer, is removed. Dr. Holzman uses a "buffing" device to remove the corneal epithelium, and an excimer laser to precisely reshape the curvature of the tissue underneath. After surgery, a soft "bandage" contact lens will be placed to facilitate healing of the eye. New epithelial cells will begin to regenerate within three to five days. 



Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) also corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. The procedure begins with the creation of a corneal flap. Dr. Holzman uses a blade-free technique to precisely and safely create this flap. He then pulls back the flap to reveal the corneal tissue beneath, which is reshaped with an excimer laser. Following LASIK surgery, the flap is simply closed shut. Patients may experience moderate dry eye, but recovery is typically comfortable and easy.

"They differ slightly in their healing process."

Are you considering LASIK vs. PRK? Your candidacy can depend on a variety of factors including corneal thickness and lifestyle. With nearly 30 years of surgical experience and hundreds of patient referrals, Dr. Holzman can help you make a decision that can significantly improve your quality of life.

Comparing PRK and LASIK

  • Can produce 20/20 vision or better
  • Accessible to patients who have thin corneas, corneal scarring, or other corneal conditions
  • No risk of developing complications associated with flap healing
  • Can produce 20/20 vision or better
  • Immediately noticeable results
  • No need for specialized bandages or contact lenses after the procedure
  • Shorter recovery time compared to PRK
  • Longer recovery period than LASIK
  • It can take longer for the results to become apparent
  • Some patients have reported slightly higher levels of discomfort after PRK
  • Requires a sufficient amount of corneal thickness
  • While rare, complications related to the corneal flap like infection and swelling can occur

Not sure which surgery is right for you?

​Dr. Holzman Can Help You Decide Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are interested in laser eye surgery, but you're not sure whether PRK or LASIK is the right choice for you, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation at one of our five locations in Washington, D.C., Virginia, or Maryland. During your consultation, Dr. Holzman will use sophisticated technologies to closely evaluate a number of factors that can determine the best treatment option for you.

Dr. Holzman's recommendation of PRK or LASIK is almost always based on the thickness of the patient's corneas. Patients with average corneal thickness may be great candidates for LASIK, while patients with thin corneas may be better served by PRK. Of course, there are other factors that can influence our surgeon's recommendation as well, such as a patient's lifestyle or occupation.

Whether you are better suited to PRK or LASIK, you can trust that Dr. Holzman is the right ophthalmologist to see for a refractive surgery consultation. When you choose Dr. Holzman and the TLC Laser Eye Centers of greater Washington, D.C., you will receive:

Honest Recommendations

Dr. Holzman exercises extremely strict standards regarding LASIK and PRK candidacy. In fact, we recommend that 20% of our patients interested in LASIK consider alternate treatment options. 

High-Tech Treatment

In both PRK and LASIK, Dr. Holzman uses advanced equipment like the ALLEGRETTO WAVE™ and Orbscan™ II to make your procedure as safe and effective as possible.

Optimal Vision Correction

Dr. Holzman has performed over 90,000 vision correction procedures. He has the skills and experience to give you 20/20 vision or better.

Patients Recommend Dr. Holzman for Both PRK and LASIK


Stacy Mayville


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I have been wearing glasses/contacts for over 27 years and have been debating on  Lasik for quite some time until listening to my husband after he went for his Consult.  Then he showed me Dr. Holzman's web site and I knew I would be in safe hands and have no worries.  The whole staff knew what they were talking about and very friendly with loads of expertise.  I knew if I truly wasn't a candidate they would let me know.  I then knew they weren't in it for the money.  They just wanted to do the right thing for the patient.  They recommended me for the PRK instead of the Lasik.  My healing process has been a little longer but each day is getting better and the hassle of no glasses or contacts is well worth it.  Everything they have told me to expect have been true to their every word and to have patience.  They give you the drops for a reason.  I highly recommend their office!

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Gina Monestime


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AMAZING EXPERIENCE! The entire staff is extremely nice and Dr. Holzman did such an incredible job. He makes sure to answer all your questions and puts you at ease from the time you meet him to when your procedure is complete. He walks you through during the procedure  and explains every step as it occurs. The young lady who did all my pre-op work up was also very pleasant and professional... I wish I caught her name. The procedure is quick and painless. The only discomfort comes from the pressure but it only lasts a few seconds. Breathe and it’ll be over. I went to see my doctor the next day and I had 20/20 vision! I didn’t have any pain, redness swelling etc. My eye doctor said it doesn’t even look like I had anything done.   I would recommend them to everyone who wants lasik but is apprehensive. You will be in great hands. THANK YOU TLC AND DR. HOLZMAN!

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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.

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

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