As the old adage goes “One size does not fit all.” This holds true for shoes and vision correction eye surgery. But what type of LASIK eye surgery should you get? Just as you would never buy a shoe that is two sizes too small, you certainly do not want to have a laser eye procedure that does not fit your needs medically or visually.

A good LASIK surgeon should start off with a blank slate and determine the right type of LASIK eye surgery for you based on your individual needs, including:

  • Are you myopic (nearsighted), hyperopic (farsighted), presbyopic (age-related farsightedness), have astigmatism, or any combination of these?
  • Do you do anything in your personal or professional life that puts your eyes at high risk for taking a hard sharp direct hit?
  • How thick are your corneas?
  • What are your vision priorities? Is your distance more important or your reading ability more important?

During your comprehensive consultation, your laser eye surgeon should consider one of the following types of vision correction procedures:

What is PRK?

When you talk to your friends and family who have had laser vision correction surgery the vast majority will tell you they had LASIK. What if the type of LASIK they received “does not fit” you? What are your options, and will you get the same great vision your friends and family rave about? PRK may be a great option for you. PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), also referred to as Epi-LASIK, LASEK, or Advanced Surface Ablation, is an excellent laser vision correction procedure for many who are not ideal LASIK candidates.

At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists PRK is recommended over LASIK for approximately 25% of our patient and is performed utilizing the FDA-approved Wavelight EX500 laser, the same laser used during LASIK.

Who is a good candidate for PRK?

You and your laser eye surgeon should decide together if you are a good candidate for PRK or a different type of LASIK eye surgery. Some factors which may make PRK a more suitable procedure for you are:

  • You have thin corneas that are not suitable for LASIK. This is based on the evaluation of images of your cornea taken with our Pentacam mapping technology.
  • You have significant problems with eye dryness before the procedure
  • You have a high risk for developing long-term dryness
  • The skin or cover of your cornea is already fragile or damaged due to age, previous injury, or previous infection
  • You have unexplained corneal irregularity detected on your mapping
  • You have significant scar tissue on the cornea
  • Your occupation or hobbies are high risk for potential eye injury


PRK has the same great advantages as LASIK with regards to achieving great vision. However, there are some differences in the healing process. PRK:

  • Delivers optimal results
  • Is very low risk
  • For certain people, has fewer side effects than LASIK

The healing process is different from other types of LASIK:

  • There is a 3-4 day recovery time after PRK
  • Getting to your best possible vision can take several months

Because our surgeons are cornea specialists, they are exceptionally capable of detecting subtle corneal abnormalities and recommending the safest, most predictable procedure for you. This is why being evaluated by your surgeon and having a complete and thorough consultation to determine what type of procedure is best for you is perhaps the most important part of your vision correction experience.

Come visit us for a free consultation to determine which type of LASIK may be right for you, so you can start to see more and live better.