LASIK and PRK are the two main eye surgeries performed across the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. TLC offices. With Lasik surgery, the procedure is done under the corneal flap, but with PRK, the process is done on the surface of the cornea, making it better for patients with thinner eyes.
Well, there are two different types of laser vision correction that are
commonly performed. One is called Lasik, and that's the one that is most
commonly performed, and the other one is known as PRK. In my practice
approximately 80% of patients receive Lasik, and 20% receive PRK. They are
both excellent procedures, and both provide the same excellent stable
The difference is that Lasik is performed under a corneal flap. So if you
think of the cornea, which is the window of the eye, as a book of, let's
say, 500 pages thick, what we're doing in Lasik, we're actually in the
first step opening the book to page 100 and creating a hinge in the cornea.
In the second step of Lasik we'll remove some pages of the book with a
laser, one of these Excimer lasers that we have, to fix the vision and to
resculpt the cornea. We then put the flap back down, and that is the end of
the Lasik procedure.
The PRK procedure for the same patient would still remove the same number
of pages of the book, let's say, 50 pages. However, it's a more superficial
procedure, and it's done on the surface of the cornea. So there's no flap
created. We're going to remove the same 50 pages, but it's going to be
pages zero to 50 instead of pages 100 to 150. Therefore, it's a more
superficial procedure, and it works better in patients who have thinner
corneas and not enough tissue for us to do Lasik.