When our patients in the Denver, Northglenn, and Westminster, Colorado areas think about vision correction surgery, LASIK is usually the first thing that comes to mind. LASIK is an excellent option for many of our patients, but it’s not the only option. PRK is a similar procedure that may be better suited for some patients. Patient outcomes and satisfaction rates between LASIK and PRK are Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source A Comparison of Visual Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction Between Photorefractive Keratectomy and Femtosecond Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis Hashmani N, Hashmani S, Ramesh P, et al Go to Source comparable , and each procedure has distinct advantages for certain patients. If you’re considering laser vision correction and wondering whether LASIK or PRK is the best option for you, here’s a breakdown of the major similarities and differences between the two.

young man hiking at sunset and smiling

What Can LASIK and PRK Treat?

LASIK and PRK are both laser vision correction procedures designed to treat common refractive errors including:

Nearsightedness (myopia): Up to 30% of people in the United States are nearsighted. This refractive error is caused by a cornea that is overly curved or an eye that is longer than it should be. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Myopia (nearsightedness) American Optometric Association Go to Source Nearsightedness affects a person’s ability to clearly see objects in the distance.

Farsightedness (hyperopia): When a person is farsighted, they can see near objects clearly but objects in the distance appear blurry. Farsightedness is caused by flatter corneas and shorter eye diameters.

Astigmatism: Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source What is Astigmatism? American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source Astigmatism is a result of an imperfectly curved cornea and can impact both near and distance vision.

Similarities Between LASIK and PRK

LASIK and PRK are similar in that they are both laser vision correction procedures that involve reshaping the cornea to improve a patient’s vision. An excimer laser is to reshape the cornea in both procedures.

Additional similarities between LASIK and PRK include:

  • 10-15 minute procedures
  • Excellent patient outcomes
  • High rates of patient satisfaction
  • Widely considered to be safe surgical procedures
young man mountain biking and carrying his bike

Differences Between LASIK and PRK

The key difference between LASIK and PRK is the way the ophthalmologist accesses the cornea. During LASIK, an incision is made to create a flap in the cornea. During PRK, the eye surgeon uses techniques to remove the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium).

Because PRK involves removing the epithelium, it takes longer to recover after PRK than it does after LASIK. Patients also don’t notice the full results of their vision correction as quickly after PRK because of this healing difference.

Candidates for LASIK and PRK

Because of the different techniques used during LASIK and PRK, not all patients are a good candidate for both procedures. PRK is a more suitable option for patients who have thinner corneas, since no corneal flap is created during this procedure. Also, although PRK has a longer recovery time, there is no risk of dislodging a corneal flap. This makes PRK a better choice for our patients who are engaged in highly active or vigorous activities like contact sports.

Other Vision Correction Options

At Montgomery Eye Care, we know that each patient is unique, as are their vision correction needs and lifestyles. We offer multiple customized vision correction options so that each patient can find the right procedure for them.

Other vision correction options we offer include the EVO ICL™ and refractive lens exchange.


The EVO ICL is an Implantable Collamer® Lens that is placed in front of the natural lens of the eye to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism. This may be a more attractive option for patients who are better candidates for PRK than for LASIK because it is reversible, less invasive, and involves a faster and more comfortable recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK vs PRK

Are LASIK and PRK permanent?

Both LASIK and PRK involve reshaping the cornea to improve a patient’s vision, so in this sense they are permanent. However, neither procedure can protect against the eye’s natural aging process.

Age-related near vision loss, or presbyopia, happens to everybody beginning in their 40s. This condition is a result of the lens of the eye growing increasingly more rigid, so it is less able to flex and focus on close objects or tasks.

For patients seeking a “less permanent” alternative, the EVO ICL may be a great solution.

If you have undergone a laser vision correction procedure like LASIK or PRK and are now noticing changes in your vision, please contact us so we can provide you with a solution.

Are LASIK and PRK painful?

Before each laser vision correction procedure, the patient’s eyes are numbed with anesthetic eye drops. Our patients don’t find either procedure painful, however the procedures are not sensation free. You may experience some mild discomfort during the healing process, especially after PRK.

Are the cost of LASIK and the cost of PRK the same?

The costs of LASIK and PRK aren’t identical. However the costs are similar enough that expense is not a factor when our patients are deciding on LASIK vs PRK.

Are LASIK or PRK covered by insurance?

LASIK and PRK are both elective procedures, which means that they are not covered by the majority of insurance plans. We offer a number of payment and financing options to help our patients fit laser vision correction into their budgets.

Contact Montgomery Eye Care

If you live in the Denver, Northglenn, or Westminster, Colorado area and are weighing your vision correction options, we’re sure you have many questions. To learn more about LASIK vs PRK as well as other vision correction procedures, please contact us.

5-Star Rating!

All I could say is the staff was amazing. The techs treated my mom so sweet, keeping her warm and comfortable. Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Dugan are the best! They did an excellent job, my mother was seeing 20/20 even before the adjustments were done. She is on top of the moon. Walking out they were calling her a Rock Star!!

Brenda C.

I have been getting treated by Dr Montgomery for many years! 15 to be exact and when I told him I wanted to get lasik surgery he suggested I don’t because of my chronic dry eyes. However, with his care and his instructions I was able to get there. Today I can see 20/20 and I couldn’t be happier!

Yessenia F.

Great experience with Lasik. No pressure to go through with the procedure. Tons of pre-exam information and very thorough post-exam process.

Brian H.

We'd Love to See You!

Give us a call at: (303) 252-9981 or fill out the form below to request a consultation!

Contact Us

*Communications through our website or via email are not encrypted and are not necessarily secure. Use of the internet or email is for your convenience only, and by using them, you assume the risk of unauthorized use.

I agree to the

1 Hashmani N, Hashmani S, Ramesh P, et al. A Comparison of Visual Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction Between Photorefractive Keratectomy and Femtosecond Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. Cureus. 2017;9(9):e1641. Published 2017 Sep 1. doi:10.7759/cureus.1641. Available: Accessed December 13, 2022.

2 American Optometric Association. Myopia (nearsightedness). Available: Accessed December 13, 2022.

3 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Astigmatism? Available: Accessed December 13, 2022.

The doctors at Montgomery Eye Care have authored or reviewed and approved this content. | Page Updated: