PRK vs. LASIK

The Chesapeake LASIK doctors at Tidewater Eye Centers will determine whether PRK or LASIK is recommended for your eyes during a free LASIK Consultation. We will look at your corneal thickness, eye health, refractive measurements and other aspects of your vision to verify which procedure will be the safest and most effective.
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PRK and LASIK Similarities

The main goal of both LASIK and PRK is to correct a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) by removing very small amounts of corneal tissue to create a more ideal corneal shape. In both procedures an excimer laser accomplishes this goal. Our doctors incorporate blade-free, custom iLASIK technology for this step which takes just minutes to complete.

When the cornea is properly shaped, light entering the eyes can focus more directly on the retina (the back of the eye). Clear 20/20 vision is often the result for many patients.

PRK and LASIK Differences

The main difference between PRK and LASIK is in the first step of the procedure.

  • LASIK: a laser is used to create a hinged flap on the cornea. This flap is necessary to allow access to the corneal tissue underneath. After the excimer laser treatment, the flap is folded back onto the cornea and naturally heals/seals itself typically within 24-48 hours.
  • PRK: if your cornea is too thin to accommodate a flap, the PRK process involves removing the outermost layer of corneal tissue so the excimer laser treatment can be done. This epithelium layer will naturally regenerate within 3-5 days.

LASIK vs PRK Chart


If you have been told you are not a good candidate for LASIK, PRK may be a viable option to help you reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. The only way to know for sure is by taking us up on our offer for a free LASIK Consultation. There is no obligation and you’ll know for sure what options exist for you. Contact us today!