What is the purpose?
It allows a person to get out of eyeglasses or contact lenses for most activities.
Is everyone eligible for the procedure?
No. A LASIK/PRK consultation is required to determine if a person is eligible. The consultation examines the stability of the prescription, the thickness of the cornea, as well as the corneal contour. These factors are looked at closely to help determine if the procedure will result in long-term stability.
How is LASIK performed?
A superficial flap with a hinge is created on the cornea. The flap is then retracted and a laser is used to reshape the cornea and decrease its prescription. The flap is then replaced.
How is PRK performed?
The superficial cornea, called the epithelium, is mechanically removed. A laser is then used to reshape the cornea to decrease its prescription. A temporary contact lens is then placed.
LASIK or PRK?
First, the thickness of the cornea needs to be measured in the clinic. This, along with the strength of the prescription, will dictate the residual corneal thickness after laser treatment. A certain amount of tissue is needed to ensure a stable cornea long term. Less tissue is preserved with LASIK compared to PRK, therefore PRK is typically recommended with thin corneas.
In addition, LASIK is preferred for those who need a rapid recovery process.
Finally, PRK is recommended in individuals who are involved with vigorous physical activities. The reason for this is because a LASIK flap has the potential to become dislodged if hard contact is made.
There are other factors to consider; however, these tend to be the main principles when deciding which procedure to undergo.
Does insurance cover this procedure?
Medical insurance does not cover LASIK or PRK. However, CareCredit is accepted.