PRK vs. LASIK: Which is Better?

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Although the development and FDA-approval of PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) predates that of LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis), both of these refractive vision correction procedures are now performed using state-of-the-art laser technology and can deliver high-quality results at Aloha Laser Vision. In fact, modern PRK is now referred to as advanced surface ablation (ASA) and is commonly recommended as an equivalent alternative for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. With the excimer laser technology we use at our practice, PRK and LASIK patients are ultimately able to achieve very similar results. PRK does, however, require a slightly longer period of healing (five to six days) than LASIK, and improvements in vision may take between three to six months before they are fully apparent.

If you are comparing PRK and LASIK to determine which vision correction procedure is “better,” it is important to understand that one is not superior to the other. Each of these refractive procedures has benefits and/or drawbacks that make it either more or less suitable for a given individual. For example, patients that typically make better candidates for PRK over LASIK include individuals with farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism who have:

  • Previously undergone LASIK and desire further vision correction
  • Thin and/or irregularly shaped corneas
  • An increased risk of eye trauma
  • Concerns about side effects from LASIK affecting their job/lifestyle
  • A preference for a flapless procedure

When our ophthalmologist Alan Faulkner MD, or LASIK surgeon Dr. Neda Nikpoor, discuss refractive surgery options with a patient, there are several factors he considers before indicating whether LASIK or PRK is preferable. During the appointment, he performs a full vision assessment, examines the eyes, and inquires about lifestyle/occupation. Based on an evaluation of refractive errors, corneal thickness, corneal shape, occupation/avocations, Dr. Faulkner is then able to suggest the procedure that can best meet the patient’s needs.

If you are curious about which refractive vision correction surgery can provide the highest quality results for you, we encourage you to contact Aloha Laser Vision to schedule a personal consultation with one of our amazing eye surgeons.

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