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PRK or LASIK? What’s the Difference?   

If you’re told you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK vision correction but your doctor recommends PRK, you may have qualms about moving forward with this often-unknown procedure. However, the truth is that PRK existed well before LASIK came along – and it’s still routinely used today to correct refractive errors. In fact, you can get the same overall vision results with LASIK and PRK.  

The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that there is no corneal incision needed in PRK. Instead of creating a corneal flap (the first step in LASIK), a thin layer on your cornea (the epithelium) is removed to provide access to the underlying corneal tissue. This surgical difference also creates slightly longer and more uncomfortable recovery times for PRK. Therefore, final vision results may take longer to achieve.  

Here’s an overview of the difference between PRK and LASIK: 

Corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism YES YES 
Can be performed on people with thin corneas YES NO 
First step involves the creation of a corneal flap NO YES 
First step involves the removal of a thin layer of your corneal tissue (epithelium) YES NO 
Blade-free procedure YES YES 
Includes reshaping of the cornea using an excimer laser YES YES 
Procedure can be fully customized for your unique vision challenges YES YES 
Corneal incisions are required NO YES 
Eyesight improvement is typically seen the next day NO YES 
Full vision results take up to 6 months to achieveYES NO 
Pain or discomfort may be felt for 4 days after the procedure YES NO  
Possible to achieve 20/20 vision or better after the procedure YES YES 

Our doctors will not recommend LASIK or PRK if they do not feel these procedures can be performed safely on your unique eyes and if they do not feel confident that your vision will improve after the procedure. Our vast experience performing comprehensive evaluations and our surgical expertise make us highly qualified to know which procedure is best for our patients.  

Our team performs PRK procedures to help reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation, free PRK Consultation in Colorado Springs to learn more about your unique eye health!  

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