LASIK is a newer procedure, it is becoming much more common as
surgical techniques and instruments improve.
primary difference between LASIK and PRK is that prior to the use of
the laser to change the shape of the cornea, a machine called a
microkeratome is used to create a thin flap of cornea, which is
folded back, and the laser treatment is then performed under this
This provides similarly effective
correction of visual problems, as the change in the shape of the
cornea still takes place, but deeper within the corneal tissue.
surface layer of the cornea is not removed, a protective contact
lens is generally not necessary after LASIK.
There is generally
less postoperative discomfort, because the eye's natural surface is
returned to its original position after the laser treatment is
Visual recovery is usually faster as
well, because the surface layer of the eye does not need to re-heal
after being removed as it does in PRK. Some patients and surgeons
prefer LASIK to PRK because of these advantages of less discomfort
and more rapid visual recovery. Eye drops are still used, but often
for a shorter period of time.
does offer significant advantages for those patients with high
degrees of nearsightedness, because the risk of scarring with PRK
increases when large amounts of tissue must be removed from the
cornea. While LASIK does not eliminate this scarring entirely, it
tends to be much less common when the laser treatment is performed
deeper within the cornea as it is in LASIK.