If you are tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses and are looking for a solution to correct your vision, LASIK and PRK are two popular vision correction options available at Minnesota Eye Consultants.

Both procedures correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Patients are usually considered first for LASIK surgery. If they are not a good candidate, PRK may be an option. Although both treatments aim to achieve the same goal of clearer vision without glasses or contacts, there are some important differences between the vision correction procedures that you should be aware of before deciding which procedure is right for you.

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Differences in Surgery and Recovery 

How does LASIK work?
The refractive doctors at Minnesota Eye Consultants offer the most advanced LASIK technology, called Intralase, or iLASIK. This procedure is fully customized and blade-free. LASIK surgery uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea, which is then lifted to expose the underlying tissue. A laser is used to reshape the corneal tissue, correcting things like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. After the tissue has been reshaped, the flap is then placed back into position and left to heal. LASIK is typically a quick surgery that takes approximately 5 minutes per eye. The flap acts as a natural ‘band aid’, allowing the eye to heal with minimal discomfort. Recovery time is relatively short, and most patients can resume regular activities even the following day (with some restrictions).  

How does PRK work?
PRK is typically used for patients who do not qualify for LASIK because of thin corneas, irregular corneas, or other conditions. The laser treatment itself is very similar to LASIK, however PRK is a surface treatment, and doesn’t include creating a flap on the cornea. During a PRK procedure, the outer layer of corneal cells is gently removed before reshaping the underlying tissue with a laser. After surgery, a bandage contact lens is placed to help with discomfort and healing.  

PRK takes a bit more time to perform than LASIK, and the recovery time is also longer, as well. PRK patients will use eye drops for an extended period of time following surgery. Because the treatment is completed on the outer surface of the eye, blurry vision, tearing, light sensitivity and discomfort are normal for the first few days. Everyone heals at a different pace, but the blurry vision will diminish as the eye heals.  

Choosing the Right Vision Correction Procedure.  
So, which procedure is right for you? The answer depends on your individual needs and circumstances. If you have a thin cornea, irregular cornea, or other factors that make you unsuitable for LASIK, then talk with your doctor to see if PRK is an option for you.  

If you are a suitable candidate for LASIK, then this procedure may be a better choice due to its quicker recovery time and reduced discomfort during the healing process. It is important to note that both LASIK and PRK are safe and effective procedures, with high success rates and low risks of complications. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks involved, and it’s important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing surgery. 

In summary, LASIK and PRK are both effective vision correction procedures that can help improve your quality of life. The decision between the two procedures should be made based on your individual needs and circumstances, and with the guidance of a qualified eye surgeon. With the right procedure and the right surgeon, you can achieve clearer, sharper vision and a better quality of life.  

The LASIK and PRK experts at Minnesota Eye Consultants are Dr. Thomas Samuelson, Dr. David Hardten, Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Patrick Riedel, Dr. Sherman Reeves, and Dr. Mark Hansen.

Call Minnesota Eye Consultants at 952-888-5800 to schedule a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for LASIK or PRK.