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LASEK and PRK

While most people associate laser eye surgery with only the LASIK form of surgery, at one time photorefractive keratectomy surgery, or PRK (LASIK’s predecessor), was the most popular choice when undergoing laser eye surgery. Both LASIK and PRK are viable options for laser eye surgery, but they are markedly different, with pros and cons to each. It is important to research and discuss with Dr. Khodabakhsh both forms of laser eye surgery in order to determine the version that is best for you and will show the greatest improvements in your vision and overall eye health.

LASIK has quickly become the forerunner of the laser eye surgery world, because it allows for the least amount of discomfort and the quickest recovery. However, this comfort comes at a price—the LASIK lasers are small and cannot always work on patients with large pupils. If the diameters of the LASIK lasers are smaller than the diameter of the patient’s pupil, the patient will constantly experience a ring in their vision—clear in the middle where the laser was able to work on the eye, and an outer blurry ring, where the LASIK lasers could not reach. Additionally, patients with thin corneas sometimes cannot undergo LASIK surgery, as the LASIK lasers are not sensitive enough to work in the tiny conditions. Many patients seeking LASIK eye surgery are told they cannot have this surgery performed for exactly these reasons.

PRK laser eye surgery does not show immediate results like LASIK eye surgery. With PRK, improvement is gradual, and patients must often wait days or even months to experience the vision they want. Also, recovery time is longer with PRK laser eye surgery, which in turn allows for more discomfort as the patient recovers. However, the PRK lasers are extremely advanced and sensitive, and can often reach the full diameter of large pupils, and work within very thin corneas. As a result, PRK surgery is often a good alternative for patients for whom LASIK eye surgery is not possible.

At Beverly Hills Vision Institute, Dr. Khodabakhsh uses a highly advanced type of PRK surgery for his patients, called LASEK surgery. Most PRK procedures do not involve creating a flap under which to reconstruct the eye– instead the outer film on the eye is removed completely by use of laser energy, and eventually grows back. LASEK surgery, however, combines the best practices from both LASIK surgery and traditional PRK surgery. During LASEK surgery, no flap is created, but the outer layer of the eye is not removed either. Instead, the extremely thin outer layer of the eye is lifted from the eye but then replaced after the surgery. This allows for greater accuracy than LASIK surgery, but less pain and recovery time than traditional PRK surgery (though still more pain and recovery time than with LASIK surgery). Dr. Khodabakhsh has found LASEK surgery to be the most successful and comfortable PRK surgery option for his patients.

Contact Beverly Hills Vision Institute today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khodabakhsh. He will perform a thorough eye examination and discuss whether LASEK PRK eye surgery is right for you.