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Life Without Glasses

Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose.

He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

Comparing PRK with LASIK

PRK and LASIK are performed with the same type of laser, and both procedures use the laser to reshape the eye in the same way. The difference between PRK and LASIK is that LASIK uses a flap and PRK doesn’t.

Range of Correction

PRK and LASIK cover the same range of correction—low to moderate farsightedness and low to high nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism.

Depth of Penetration

Because no corneal flap is created, the depth of penetration of PRK into the cornea is less than LASIK. PRK alters only the surface of the cornea. LASIK, on the other hand, penetrates into deeper layers of the cornea.

Recovery of Vision

The recovery from PRK is slower than LASIK. After LASIK, your vision is usually 20/20 or close to it by the next morning. A week after PRK, average vision has improved to 20/40, and often takes a month or more to reach 20/20 vision. If you have PRK completed in both eyes at the same time, you may need to take some additional time off work to let your vision sharpen up.


Because your eyes are numb during surgery, you will feel no pain during either LASIK or PRK. Mild to moderate discomfort is typical with PRK during the first three or four days after surgery. The discomfort is caused by the absence of the epithelium and resolves as the new epithelium grows over the area of laser treatment. In LASIK, the epithelium is not removed, so postoperative discomfort usually lasts only about two to four hours.

Final Vision

The final visual results achieved by LASIK and PRK are the same, although it takes longer for the eye to heal completely with PRK. You achieve your final vision in PRK in one to six months, whereas with LASIK this typically occurs in one week to one month.

Frequently Asked Questions about PRK »

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