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How does PRK compare to other flap procedures, such as LASIK?
If your corneas are too thin and you are not eligible for LASIK, PRK may be for you. Both procedures are fairly short. During LASIK one may feel a bit of pressure or a fuzziness of vision while the corneal flap is created. PRK does not make a corneal flap.
LASIK is a more complicated process thanks to the need of a corneal flap. PRK and LASIK complication percentages are similar, but the complications may be more severe in PRK.
With LASIK you will have visual recovery sooner (like that day) than with PRK (may take three days or longer) and would most likely not need pain medications when compared to that of PRK.
LASIK patients must wear a plastic shield at night for the first 10 days. PRK patients have a soft bandage contact lens that is worn for five to 10 days after surgery. This is treated daily with antibiotics and eye drops. When the bandage is removed a topical cortisone is used on the area four times a day for one month, then tapered off in the following months.
Because surgeries such as LASIK cut a corneal flap during the procedure, LASIK then runs the risk of complications directly related to the flap itself. Things such as: an incomplete flap, a flap that comes off, or a flap that has holes in it. PRK does not use the flap method, therefore will not have these complications.