CHICAGO, IL, June 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- LASIK eye surgery and PRK
(Photorefractive Keratectomy) are the two most popular types of Laser Vision Correction. Both surgeries can treat a variety of refractive disorders, and both involve the use of a cool excimer laser to reshape your cornea.
LASIK and PRK each provide outstanding results with an inherently low risk of complications. More than 99% of patients obtain 20/20 vision or better with both LASIK and PRK and the results are the same with both procedures over a wide range of corrections. However, there are few notable differences between the surgeries.
The Use of a Corneal Flap
During LASIK, an instrument is used to create a small flap of your corneal tissue on the surface of your eye. This flap remains attached to the rest of your cornea by a hinge section. The corneal flap is then gently pushed out of the way to reveal your corneal stroma, which is reshaped using laser energy. Once the laser treatment has been applied, the corneal flap is repositioned for healing. This helps significantly reduce your recovery time and your overall level of discomfort after surgery so that most people are back to most of their routine activities the day after their LASIK procedure.
In contrast, no corneal flap is needed during the PRK procedure. Instead, the laser energy is applied directly to the surface of your cornea after removing the surface skin-layer called the epithelium. Your eye's epithelium will regenerate a few days after the procedure.
The Recovery Process
The other significant difference between LASIK and PRK is the recovery process. Most LASIK patients are fully functional with just a few restrictions the next day, PRK patients take longer to heal. Although PRK patients have useful vision immediately after surgery, it typically takes three to four days for the epithelium to grow back in to place and it make take several weeks for the best vision to stabilize. The more lengthy recovery period is due to the removal of the epithelium, which needs time to regenerate.
LASIK has a much shorter recovery period overall, which is part of why it remains the most popular refractive surgery option among patients today and is what Dr. Golden had himself and performed for his wife in June of 2000. However, not everyone is a good LASIK candidate. If you have overly thin corneas, or certain types of corneal irregularities, you may not qualify for LASIK. In these cases, PRK may be an excellent alternative.
In the past, military pilots were required to have PRK performed instead of LASIK. That has been changing and even the astronaut program allows LASIK. Those that may receive trauma to their flaps may be better candidates for PRK, since it does not use a corneal flap at all to perform Laser Vision Correction.
For more information about LASIK and PRK, please visit the website of the experienced Chicago laser eye surgeon Dr. Mark Golden at Doctors For Visual Freedom
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