The evolution of vision correction surgeries is without a doubt endless. With these ever-growing options, a patient can be easily overwhelmed even with the proper and adequate guidance from an eye doctor. Two of the most popular, cutting-edge vision correction surgeries are LASIK and PRK/LASEK.

Having a basic grasp of how these surgeries work is part of the responsibility of individuals planning to have visual correction surgeries, stressing the qualities of each choice. At the same time, the natural architecture of the eye and the unique characteristics of the visual error strongly influence the type of surgery that is best suited for you.

LASIK vs PRK: Which is Better?

Currently, the most accurate and safest vision correction is LASIK. Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, Tennessee offers this technology, the most advanced available. It combines IntraLase Femtosecond Laser (IntraLase iFS™) and VISX Star S4 excimer laser for excellent accuracy. The accompanying CustomVue™ technology makes individualized treatment possible. The data it gathers is transmitted to the computer to guide the laser to parts which need correction the most. Combining these advanced resources with our highly-trained surgeons makes for the most accurate and successful vision correction – it’s all available at Loden Vision Centers in Tennessee.

On the other hand, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is where the concept of LASIK originated. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve the creation of corneal flaps. The laser delivers a beam of light on the surface of the cornea as opposed to underneath the flap, so it is best suited for individuals who have thin corneas. Patient success from PRK is similar to that of LASIK – approximately 90% of PRK patients have 20/20 vision without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses one year after surgery. The process of the surgery itself is technically simpler than LASIK and uses similar modern laser treatment systems. Patients could easily choose LASIK being it the ultimate vision correction surgery, however, there are still many patients deemed more fitting for PRK surgery.

The Similarities

Both LASIK and PRK are indicated for refractive errors which prevent an individual from having clear and crisp vision. While techniques differ, it is important to note that both of these procedures have a very good to excellent satisfaction rate as revealed by long-term studies conducted with previous patients. Both are also capable of eliminating the use of prescription glasses and corrective lenses.

The Differences

Utilization of a flap remains to be the biggest difference between LASIK and PRK. LASIK uses Intralase to create a flap over a thin corneal tissue layer. This flap is then lifted for the custom laser pattern to proceed. The laser automatically turns off at the slightest hint of eye movement so it is ideal for individuals with astigmatism. LASIK in Loden Vision Centers is 100% blade-free!

On the other hand, PRK utilizes direct correction and so does not need to create flaps for treatment to proceed. A thin corneal layer is removed and a new layer grows as the area starts to heal.

Another difference lies in healing time. LASIK shows a fast recovery at 24 hours or less than that while it takes 4-5 days of healing time for PRK. This is accounted for the fact that it takes few days for growth of a new epithelial layer to happen.

Both procedures prevent different complications. As mentioned earlier, PRK does not use a flap so flap complications like detached retina, debris, accumulation and displaced flaps are prevented. On the other hand, LASIK will have patients experience less eye discomfort and a faster stabilization of vision compared to PRK.

Boiled down, LASIK proves to be the better choice with its customized vision correction. However, there are certain conditions of the eye where PRK is more suitable. Excluding these factors, LASIK is still the most recommended method of laser vision correction. Loden Vision Centers make it a personal mission to guarantee the best vision possible for every individual especially in Nashville, Tennessee. Call us now to start your best vision journey with us!