Comparing LASIK vs. PRK to decide the best option for treatment in our Orange County CA practice

At the Orange County Eye Institute, we want you to see well so that you can live well. Therefore, we perform extensive testing to ensure the health of the eyes, as well as innovative treatments for the correction of visual impairment. Every patient comes to us with his or her own set of goals and concerns, which is why we offer a variety of treatment options. When you visit us for vision correction, you can rest assured that your treatment will be tailored to your eyes in an effort to produce the best results for you.

LASIK and PRK are both widely used vision correction treatments, but many people do not immediately know the difference between the two, which makes choosing the most suitable treatment more challenging. There are similarities when considering LASIK vs. PRK, such as:

  • Each is performed as an outpatient procedure in our Orange County, CA practice.
  • Each is a refractive procedure that corrects impaired vision and enhances crispness and definition.

The difference between the two vision correction surgeries is actually slight. During a LASIK surgery, we address the area underneath the corneal flap, whereas PRK surgery addresses the surface area of the cornea.

Two Different Procedures

LASIK surgery, Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, is performed with either an excimer laser or a microkeratome. The chosen device is used to create a thin cut in the cornea, producing a flap. Pulses of light from a laser are then delivered to the corneal tissue, reshaping it before the flap is replaced. Used to improve conditions like astigmatism and myopia, LASIK is a procedure that preserves the epithelial cells, those that live on the corneal surface.

PRK surgery, Photorefractive Keratectomy, is performed without cutting a flap in the cornea. Consequently, corneal tissue is better preserved. During this procedure, the cornea is reshaped through the removal of tiny pieces of tissue with an ultraviolet light.

Recovery from LASIK and PRK

The flap created in LASIK surgery is replaced into its natural position after the reshaping of the cornea, held in place with the natural suction created in the eye. As there is no flap made in PRK treatment, the corneal surface needs to heal following this treatment.

Each patient is different in terms of exact recovery, but most LASIK patients will experience flap closure within three days after treatment. Vision is significantly improved the day after treatment, and it continues to improve over the course of several weeks. Although PRK addresses only the surface of the cornea, visual improvement tends to occur over about a week, with continuation for approximately a month.


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When seeking to improve your vision through innovative surgical procedures, the Orange County Eye Institute can guide you through the most suitable process. Contact us to schedule your visit today.


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