LASIK vs PRK
LASIK and PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) are both considered laser procedures to decrease a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses. They are quick, 15 minute procedures that lead to spectacle and contact independence. Whether you are a LASIK or a PRK candidate is determined by scans or measurements of your cornea and by your pre operative eye examination.
A Lasik procedure is performed by creating a very thin flap of corneal tissue. This is done on the outermost surface of the cornea. This flap, which is hinged remaining attached to the superior portion of your cornea, is then lifted to expose the central part of the cornea. This exposed area, then is treated with a second laser to reshape it according to your refractive error. After that laser treatment is completed, which usually takes less than 30 seconds, the flap is repositioned, and your procedure is done.
PRK is different in that the 5-6 cell surface layer called epithelium, a tissue which regenerates itself, is removed by the surgeon rather than creating a flap. This allows less corneal tissue to be devoted to the flap that is created in Lasik. The cornea is then reshaped with the same laser used in Lasik - programmed to the individual's refractive error. Since there is no flap to reposition, a type of contact lens called a bandage lens, is placed over the treatment area to protect it during the period of epithelium regrowth, 4-6 days as a rule. It will be usually removed by your doctor.