Laser Vision Correction & LASIK

Laser Vision Correction & LASIK

LASIK and PRK are common laser vision correction procedures, but they differ slightly. Usually, patients are first considered for LASIK, and if they are not good candidates for LASIK, then PRK may be an option. Both procedures correct vision using targeted laser therapy; however, the procedure and recovery processes differ.

To be a candidate for LASIK, the patient’s corneas must be thick enough. If the cornea is too thin, LASIK can weaken its structure, causing the cornea to change shape in the near or far future. This change in shape, may in turn result in decreased vision. PRK may be a better choice for some patients with thin corneas because the laser does not penetrate as deeply into the cornea as with LASIK.  The LASIK procedure begins with the doctor creating a corneal flap, which is folded back before the laser is applied to the deeper corneal layers. After the laser treatment, the flap is repositioned to its original position on the surface of the eye.

In PRK, there is no flap. Instead, the surgeon gently moves aside the outer corneal surface to gain access to the underlying corneal layers to which the laser is applied. The treated area remains uncovered since there is no flap made, hence leading to more symptoms of burning, tearing and irritations after PRK. A temporary protective bandage contact lens is placed on the treated area while eye drops and oral medications are prescribed to manage any potential discomfort in addition to promote healing of the area. Because of the time it takes for the cornea to heal, patients may experience more discomfort and longer recovery with PRK compared to LASIK. Additionally, PRK patients may have more frequent follow-up visits with Dr. Mostafavi to monitor the eyes’ healing after the procedure.

Both LASIK and PRK are popular options for correcting refractive errors. The best treatment type depends on your unique needs. Let us know if you have questions about your options for laser vision correction.



LASIK surgery begins with your entering the laser room, and lying down in a relaxed position on the procedure bed. Next, anesthetic drops are applied to numb your eye. Dr. Mostafavi will then position you properly under the laser machine. A painless lid-separating device, will keep you from having to worry about blinking or closing your eye during the procedure. Next, we use an advanced automated device to create a thin flap of tissue on the cornea, the clear front window of the eye. The doctor will then gently lift this flap and hinge it back, out of the way. You’ll be asked to fixate on a blinking, fuzzy green light, as we precisely align the laser beam with your eye. When everything is just right, our team will activate the laser. Painlessly, computer-controlled laser light pulses will remove microscopic amounts of tissue, gently re-shaping the cornea. The pattern of laser treatment is determined by a sophisticated program and based on the detailed measurements that were taken during your pre-operative examination. Before you know it your procedure is over, and the doctor will gently reposition the flap, smooth it with a special medical sponge, and allow it to dry for a few seconds.

After the LASIK procedure, you will rest for a bit, and typically you can return home soon after. It’s important to understand that after the procedure, you may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation in your eyes. You should also expect some blurry vision and haziness immediately after, however, your vision should improve by the next morning. Your eyesight should stabilize and continue to improve within a few days, although in rare cases it may take several weeks or longer. For most people, vision improves immediately, and you may be able to go to work the next day, but in most cases a couple days of rest is necessary. It is usually recommended to stay away from strenuous activities for at least a week. These activities may include heavy lifting, exercise, or tasks in dusty environments, which can traumatize the eye and affect healing. Generally, you will return to see your eye doctor or surgeon the day after surgery for a follow-up exam. As with any other surgery, always follow your doctor’s instructions, and take any medication prescribed. It also is important to refrain from rubbing your eye, as there is a small chance of dislodging the corneal flap. In most cases, LASIK is pain-free and can be completed within minutes for both eyes. If you are ready to embrace vision without the need for glasses or contacts, consider LASIK today.



Photo-refractive keratectomy, also known as PRK, is a procedure that corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. First, anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb the eyes; no injections or needles will be used. Next, the surgeon will remove the epithelium, a thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea. Then, computer-controlled pulses of laser light are delivered to reshape the cornea. The laser will be programmed with the information gathered in your pre-operative exam. The laser treatment will be completed in less than a minute or two, depending on the amount of correction needed.

After the PRK procedure, you’ll usually be able to go home within a few minutes, though you’ll need someone to drive you. It is normal for one eye to feel different from the other and to notice red spots on the white part of your eye. It is common to experience blurry or hazy vision after the procedure. Your vision will gradually improve for days and weeks that follow, and visual recovery may take longer for farsighted patients. Plan to stay home and take it easy for a few days following the procedure. If you have itching, burning or a feeling of sand in the eyes, closing your eyes for a time can help. Also, eye drops or oral pain medication prescribed by your doctor can provide relief. If your eyes are sensitive to light after the procedure, you should wear sunglasses during your recovery. After a few days, you will be able to go to work, drive, and resume normal activities. You will probably be asked to avoid swimming for at least a couple weeks after your procedure, though you can generally bathe, shower, or wash your hair beginning the next day. You should try to avoid getting water directly in the eye, but if some does get in, dab lightly to dry and do not rub. Your doctor may advise you to avoid working in a dusty or dirty area. Also avoid wearing eye makeup for a period of time after your procedure. A few days following the PRK procedure, a new epithelial layer of cells will grow back over your eye’s surface, and your doctor will remove the contact lens in a follow-up visit. As with any other surgery, always follow your doctor’s instructions, and take any medication prescribed. It’s important to attend follow-up appointments and routine eye exams as advised so that your doctor can monitor the healing process. If you have questions about what to expect following PRK surgery, don’t hesitate to ask us.



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