LASIK is a laser surgery that can correct a variety of vision issues. It is used on nearsighted patients, farsighted patients, and on people who have astigmatism. In this surgery, an ultra-thin corneal flap is made using a laser. The surgeon will precisely fold the flap back and will then remove tiny amounts of the corneal tissue underneath using a cool ultraviolet light. This process reshapes the cornea, which will allow for better vision. LASIK is a safe and highly effective procedure that is now extremely common in the United States today. People who opt for LASIK correction will usually be able to leave their glasses and contact lenses behind them for good.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of surgery in which the corneal surface is shaped with an excimer laser. Just as with LASIK, only a microscopic amount of corneal tissue is actually removed during this process, but it is enough to correct conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The main difference in PRK and LASIK is that PRK surgery does not make a corneal flap, which means that the top corneal layers will need healing time after the surgery. After PRK surgery, the patient will usually wear a protective contact lens to allow the cornea the shield that it needs to heal properly.
The choice between LASIK and PRK depends on the patient and their specific needs and concerns. The surgeon will help each patient decide which type of procedure will work best for them. LASIK is the more commonly performed procedure, but PRK is also very popular, especially for people with specific issues.
For example, PRK may be preferable to LASIK for people with large pupils or unusually thin corneas since this surgery allows them to avoid making the corneal flap.
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