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.
So continuing with my book analogy, there's a significant difference between two procedures that we do, LASIK and PRK. They both give excellent outcomes, but they differ slightly in their healing process.
To understand the differences biomechanically, think of the same book of 550 pages. In LASIK, we make a flap, we open the book, and we remove pages 101 to 150, and then we close the book. In PRK, we do not make any corneal flap. So there's no opening of the book at all. What we're doing is we still have to remove that same 50 pages for that particular patient's vision correction, but we remove the top 50 pages of the book, so we remove pages 0 to 50. So that's a more superficial procedure, and it works well in patients who have thinner corneas that don't allow the room for us to lift that flap of 100 microns, or 100 pages.
So I said we remove the top 50 pages, but the cover of the book, what's called the epithelium, or the surface of the eye, will be growing back, and the patient will wear a soft contact lens during that time while it's healing. And after about four days, we take the contact lens off, and then the patient starts to heal similar to any other patient.
PRK is safer for some types of patients. Those who have thinner corneas, as I mentioned, but also law enforcement officers and some military pilots opt for PRK because there's no risk of having a flap issue if they were to be involved in an altercation in their early post-operative period.