What Are The Suitability Differences Between LASIK, LASEK And PRK?

Mr Glenn Carp – “PRK and LASEK are the same thing.  There is a layer on the surface of the eye called the epithelium, very, very thin and mobile and if we put a laser change into that layer it only lasts seven to fourteen days because that layer is replaced every seven to fourteen days.  So what we do in those two procedures is we remove the surface layer, treating the bed, the more permanent stromal tissue underneath and that is where we make our shape change.  The main difference between LASEK and PRK is in PRK we remove the layer.  It simply grows back on its own after having put a contact lens on the eye and in LASEK we push the layer to one side and then replace it.  The new layer does form underneath that layer, however, and some people believe there are healing benefits in that regard.

LASIK on the other hand is where we create a little flap in the cornea and the idea of that is we create a flap through the mobile layer into the permanent layer very, very thin on the surface.  We can reflect the flap, make our shape change into the base and then simply re-apply the flap and the beauty of this is that the whole surface remains unchanged.  So in terms of the healing time, whereas it takes a week for the surface layer to heal in PRK or LASEK, in LASIK it is only the edges of that flap that need to heal and that happens in about three hours.  In most of patients nowadays, the vast majority are candidate for LASIK and most patients would opt to have LASIK because of the healing time.

Generally speaking if patients are candidates for both types of treatment we tend to advice and recommend a LASIK procedure because of the ease for the patient.  Having said that if there are extensive scars within the cornea or the cornea is extremely thin, one may be able to perform better surgery doing PRK.  On the converse side, patients who are diabetic with slow healing wounds as well as patients with controlled but very mild inflammatory conditions, PRK may not be a good option and therefore LASIK takes the preference and then of course there is the patient’s social situation.  If they are boxers, for example kick boxers, having a flap in the eye may not be the best option.  So again for certain sporting groups, PRK may have an advantage for those patients.”

Suitability Differences Between LASIK, LASEK And PRK Explained Further…

The vast majority of patients undergoing Laser Eye Surgery worldwide are suitable for LASIK. Roughly, 10% of patients have LASEK or PRK. The main consideration when recommending LASEK or PRK over LASIK is corneal thickness. Secondary considerations include the patient’s pre-operative prescription.

Mr Glenn Carp explains the suitability differences between LASIK, LASEK and PRK.

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Although initially very nervous about the whole procedure, I was very impressed by the pre-op information and care, the actual procedure and the result achieved.– Julia Clarke

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