Laser vision correction procedures reshape the clear tissue at the front of the eye (the cornea) by using a unique cool laser beam called the Excimer laser. The two most effective methods of delivering this laser to the cornea are called LASIK and PRK. The laser treatment in LASIK is delivered under a “flap”. LASIK is the most popular elective procedure in the history of medicine for good reason. This procedure is quick (usually less than one minute per eye), comfortable, and extremely effective for a wide range of prescriptions.
LASIK also has the quickest visual recovery of any of the laser vision correction procedures. PRK is a “flapless” surface laser technique. It was the first laser vision correction procedure ever performed, and is an “all-laser” approach to laser vision correction. It gives the best outcomes for eyes with thinner or weaker corneas and can be the best choice for some patients with specialized occupational needs. More than 95% of our soldiers who have laser vision correction have the PRK procedure performed. The visual recovery after PRK is not quite as rapid as LASIK, but after healing is complete, the visual results are identical.