In general, the complications of PRK and LASIK are the same.
Absence of Flap Complications
One advantage of PRK over LASIK is that there is no risk of flap complications because no corneal flap is created.
Corneal haze is clouding of the cornea during the healing process. This clouding may cause blurry or hazy vision. Significant corneal haze following PRK is extremely rare with today’s equipment and medications. As a general rule, the worse your eyesight was going into the procedure, the more you are at risk for developing corneal haze. Haze eventually disappears by itself, but this can take months or years. If it develops, corneal haze is usually retreated with the laser to physically remove it, although this is necessary in fewer than 1% of patients. Corneal haze does not occur with LASIK.
Comparing PRK with LASIK Surgery
Range of Correction
PRK and LASIK cover the same range of correction- low to moderate farsightedness and low to high nearsightedness with or without astigmatism.
Depth of Penetration
Because no corneal flap is created, the depth of penetration of PRK into the cornea is less than LASIK. PRK alters only the surface of the cornea. LASIK, on the other hand, penetrates into deeper layers of the cornea.
Recovery of Vision
The recovery from PRK is slower than LASIK. After LASIK, your vision is usually 20/20 or close to it by the next morning. With PRK, vision does not reach this level for 3-5 days. Because most of us need to see well in order to perform our jobs, this timeline can be used for going back to work. So, if you PRK performed in both eyes at the same time, you’ll most likely need to take a couple of additional days off from work.