What is the difference between LASIK, PRK and IntraLase SBK?
LASIK consists of creating a flap in the cornea with a microkeratome (a mechanical bladed surgical tool) and using an excimer laser to reshape the underlying cornea. The microkeratome approach to flap creation is suitable for patients whose corneas are of average thickness and whose prescription is not too high. LASIK is quick, virtually painless, as well as safe and effective.
With PRK, no corneal flap is created, as the cornea’s epithelial layer (the outer layer) is partially removed to expose the underlying corneal tissue. PRK is typically used where opportunities for flap creation are less than ideal: The corneas may be too thin or the prescription may be too high to safely create a flap. With this procedure, visual improvement is more gradual, and functional vision is achieved within the first one to two weeks. But because a flap is not created, more tissue is preserved which is better for patients with thinner corneas or higher prescriptions.
IntraLase SBK is often used for patients with thinner-than-average corneas, larger-than-average pupils and greater-than-average prescriptions because it allows for the creation of thinner flaps, as needed, while maintaining the excellent outcomes and safety of a microkeratome. There is less discomfort with this procedure than with PRK and the recovery is as quick as with LASIK. In addition, some patients may choose IntraLase SBK because they feel more comfortable with this procedure, as it does not involve the use of a blade.
All three procedures are safe and effective and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Choosing between LASIK, PRK and IntraLase SBK is a decision best made in consultation with a Coal Harbour Eye Care professional.