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What’s the difference between LASIK and PRK?

While both LASIK and PRK offer similar long term visual outcomes they have some important differences that patients should consider before proceeding with scheduling surgery.

LASIK or Intralase (Bladeless Lasik) creates a thin flap on the surface of the cornea that the surgeon lifts prior to a second laser resurfacing the cornea to change its shape which corrects the patients refractive area. In PRK on the otherhand, there is no flap that is created, instead a circular portion of the corneal surface is debrided using a chemical solution, the cornea is then reshaped using a laser and a special contact lens is put over the area while the corneal surface heals for the next 4-6 days. There are pros and cons to both procedures; Intralase typically allows for faster recovery time for the patient while PRK can sometimes be used in situations where larger correction is required and Intralase would be contraindicated. Its important to note that both surgeries require routine follow-up typically for about 1 year post-op to ensure optimum results.