LASIK, LASEK and PRK

What is the difference between LASIK, LASEK and PRK?

LASIK

This surgery is done on the surface of the eye. A laser first creates a flap of corneal tissue. The flap is folded back to expose the inner area of the cornea. The excimer laser is used to remove very thin layers of tissue. The flap is put back into place on the front surface of the eye.

LASEK

During this surgery, no corneal flap is created. The surface of the eye is brushed to the side to expose the inner layer of the cornea. The excimer laser is used to remove very thin layers of tissue. The surface of the eye is put back into place. There are also no flap complications (problems) since one was not created.

PRK

This surgery is done on the surface of the eye. No corneal flap is created. The excimer laser is used to remove very thin layers of tissue. PRK may be a good choice for you if you have:

  • larger pupils
  • thin corneas
  • dry eyes
  • other corneal issues (such as scar tissue and dry eyes)
  • long-term concerns about LASIK corneal flaps

Source: Phillips Eye Institute
Reviewed By: Emmett Carpel, MD
First Published: 05/10/2010
Last Reviewed: 12/15/2015

Contact us
To speak with someone about selecting a LASIK surgeon, call 612-775-8841 or 1-888-301-0021.
Patient story
Matt_Kolb_thumbnail

Vision correction surgery means freedom for busy father of two

After having laser vision correction surgery at Phillips Eye Institute - a campus of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Kolb's vision has improved to the point where it is better than what the chart in his doctor's office can measure.