PRK vs LASIK: Which Is Better?

Vision impairment is one of the most common health problems of people nowadays. In terms of vision correction, patients often think about which of these options is better, PRK vs Lasik.  Both surgical procedures provide clearer vision thus eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. In it says that  Laser in-situ Keratomileusis or “LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve visual acuity.”

On the other hand, there is no tissue flap involved in PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy prior to reshaping the cornea with the use of a laser.  This makes PRK a good option for patients whose corneas may be too thin for LASIK or have a curvature that might make creating a flap risky not to mention the cost of PRK laser eye surgery which is much lower than Lasik.

Eye surgery

This article shall discuss the step-by-step procedures of Lasik and PRK, their risks, possible side effects, costs, and the recovery process. In New York, these services are provided by Lasik Vision Institute Syracuse, Manhattan Lasik Center, Belmont Eye Center, etc. After having a better understanding of laser eye surgery available, one can make an informed choice as to which of these procedures better suit their conditions.

Preparation for Laser Eye Surgery

It is important that the patient knows the things to consider prior to the procedure to ensure a successful surgery. The following are points to remember:

  1. Set an appointment for a consultation with an eye doctor to find out if you are suitable to undergo laser eye surgery.
  1. You will be asked to provide your medical history which includes your eye problems, medications taken, hospitalizations, and allergies.
  1. Contact lens wearing should be stopped at least one week prior to surgery as it can change the shape of the cornea thus, affecting its measurements.

Understanding the Risks

Generally, LASIK and PRK are safe procedures. However, like any other procedure, they involve some risks and complications. It is vital to understand these risks in order to make an informed decision.

Potential Risks and Complications

Both LASIK and PRK may lead to temporary or permanent dryness of the eyes. Some patients may experience discomfort, and visual disturbances, such as glare, halos, or double vision, especially at night. In rare cases, the procedure may result in residual refractive errors that require enhancement surgery or alternative corrective measures. There is also a slight risk of developing an eye infection following laser eye surgery. PRK may lead to temporary corneal haze, which usually resolves 1 month after PRK surgery or even at a shorter time.

The LASIK Procedure

1. Anesthetic Eye Drops: To ensure a pain-free experience, numbing eye drops are used.

2. Creation of Corneal Flap: The surgeon creates a thin corneal flap using a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser. The cornea underneath is then made visible by gently lifting this flap.

3. Corneal Reshaping: To correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, an excimer laser is used to precisely remove tissue from the exposed cornea.

4. Flap Repositioning: The corneal flap is precisely moved, adhering without the use of sutures.

Results: Since the cornea has been reshaped, light can now focus appropriately on the retina, improving vision nearly right away.


The LASIK treatment itself normally takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes per eye.  Many patients see a noticeable improvement in their vision within 24 to 48 hours after having LASIK, which is noted for its rapid recovery time.

 Aftercare Instructions

Use the prescribed eye drops to promote healing and prevent infection.

Avoid strenuous activities, swimming, and rubbing your eyes.

Wear eye protection, such as goggles or sunglasses, to shield your eyes from bright lights and potential injury.

The PRK Procedure

  1. Anesthetic Eye Drops: To ensure comfort throughout the procedure, numbing eye drops are applied.
  2. Epithelial Removal: The surgeon gently removes the outermost layer of the cornea, called the epithelium.
  3. Corneal Reshaping: The exposed cornea is then reshaped with an excimer laser to correct refractive errors.
  4. Protective Contact Lens: To protect the freshly treated cornea and encourage healing, a special contact lens is put on the eye.

5. Epithelial Regrowth: The epithelial cells in the treated area grow back over time, covering the area and regaining the integrity of the cornea.


Usually, each eye’s PRK process takes 10 to 15 minutes. Due to the epithelium regeneration phase, PRK laser eye surgery recovery times are often longer than those for LASIK. The removal of the protective contact lens and the improvement of vision may take several days to a week.

Aftercare Instructions

  •  Administer the recommended eye drops in order to aid healing and prevent infection.
  • Use lubricating eye drops to ease irritation and dryness.
  • Avoid swimming, rubbing your eyes, and other physically demanding activities.
  • Wear eye protection to protect your eyes from strong lights and possible harm, such as sunglasses.

Benefits and Risks of LASIK

One of the remarkable benefits of LASIK surgery is the rapid visual recovery that many patients experience within 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Discomfort is generally minimal and can be managed effectively with prescribed eye drops. Following the procedure, patients may experience mild sensations of dryness, but these symptoms typically resolve within a few days. It also offers a lower risk of corneal haze compared to PRK. Corneal haze refers to a condition where the cornea becomes slightly cloudy or hazy following laser eye surgery.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks in Lasik including dry eyes, which can cause discomfort and require ongoing treatment. Visual disturbances such as glare, halos, and light sensitivity may also occur, particularly at night or in low-light conditions. In rare cases, under-correction or overcorrection of vision may happen, necessitating further treatment or the continued use of corrective eyewear. There is a small risk of experiencing visual fluctuations or regression of the initial vision correction achieved through LASIK. Additionally, although rare, there is a slight risk of infection, inflammation, and epithelial ingrowth, which may require further intervention.

Benefits  and Risks of PRK

Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap. Instead, the surgeon gently removes the thin outer layer of the cornea, known as the epithelium. This eliminates the risk of flap-related complications, such as flap dislocation or inflammation. Additionally, there is a reduced risk of corneal thinning and bulging in PRK. According to, one study shows that while LASIK has better results for visual acuity sooner after the surgery, patients with PRK tended to maintain better refraction years after the initial surgery. The disadvantage of PRK however is the longer recovery time as the epithelium needs time to regenerate and heal. Patients may also experience blurred vision and fluctuating visual acuity during the initial healing phase.

The Following Table Shows a General Comparison of Lasik and PRK

Cost Comparison LASIK PRK
Factors to Consider Geographic location
Surgeon’s experience and reputation
A clinic or surgical center
Technology and equipment used
Additional pre and post-operative care
Affordability LASIK tends to have a higher upfront cost due to advanced technology and faster recovery time. PRK may have a lower upfront cost compared to LASIK due to a simpler procedure but may require more post-operative care.
Financing options, such as payment plans or healthcare credit cards, may be available Financing options can also help make PRK more affordable
Insurance Coverage LASIK is considered an elective procedure, and most insurance plans do not cover it. PRK is sometimes covered by insurance if it is deemed medically necessary, i.e., for individuals with certain eye conditions
Some insurance plans offer discounts or special arrangements with specific providers. Insurance coverage for PRK varies, and it is essential to check with your insurance provider for details

Recovery Process

Recovery Process and Expectations LASIK PRK
Recovery Time Rapid visual recovery within 24-48 hours The longer recovery period, several days to weeks
Discomfort Minimal post-operative discomfort Discomfort during the healing phase may last a few days
Healing of the Cornea Relatively quick Slower healing due to the removal of the epithelium
Vision Stabilization Stabilizes within a few weeks Stabilizes over a longer period, several weeks to months
Visual Acuity Rapid improvement in vision Gradual improvement in vision


Is One Procedure More Effective Than the Other?

With success rates ranging from 90% to 95%, LASIK and PRK are both very successful treatments. The decision between the two is influenced by personal characteristics such as corneal thickness, way of life, and the surgeon’s advice.

How Do I Find a Reliable Laser Eye Surgery Provider?

Do some local market research on trustworthy eye clinics and doctors. Take into account elements like expertise, certifications, patient testimonials, and the application of cutting-edge technologies.

Make appointments with several doctors so that you can ask them questions and evaluate their knowledge and methodology. You might also want to check the accessibility of the eye clinics, Lasik Plus vs Lasik Vision Institute for instance.

What Are LASIK Flap Complications and How Can They Be Managed?

LASIK flap complications are rare but can include flap dislocation, inflammation, or infection. The risk of problems can be decreased by selecting a qualified surgeon and following post-operative care guidelines. Consult your surgeon right away if a flap issue arises to ensure correct handling and post-operative care.

PRK vs. LASIK vs. SMILE, What to Choose?

Another technique for treating refractive problems with laser eye surgery is called SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction).In SMILE, a corneal lenticule is removed through a small incision, which corrects vision.SMILE’s applicability is influenced by things including corneal thickness, prescription potency, and surgeon skill. Understanding the pros and cons of Lasik eye surgery 2023 is important in determining which one is suited for you. To decide which course of action is best for you, speak with your ophthalmologist.

How Long Is the Recovery Time for LASIK Eye Surgery?

In comparison to PRK, LASIK often gives a quicker recovery.

After LASIK surgery, the majority of patients notice a significant improvement in their vision within 24 to 48 hours. Within a few weeks, full vision recovery and stabilization usually take place.


Eye care is very important for everyone and it’s always better to prevent any diseases. But different things happen, and now you know for sure, that both LASIK and PRK are effective vision correction procedures with their own unique benefits and considerations. LASIK offers rapid visual recovery and minimal discomfort, making it a popular choice for many individuals, while PRK may be more suitable for those with thin corneas or specific lifestyle requirements. Knowing what is the procedure for Lasik eye surgery and comparing it with PRK can help the patient decide the appropriate choice from different types of Lasik eye surgery. Ultimately, consulting with an experienced eye surgeon and weighing the individual factors will help determine the most appropriate procedure for achieving clear and unaided vision.

Harrel Eye Care recommends: Don’t turn a blind eye to your vision! Have it checked now!