There are two main kinds of surgery: LASIK and PRK.

  • LASIK is much easier to say than it's long version: laser assisted intrastromal keratomileusis. For LASIK, the skin covering the eye is cut and lifted, the top layer of the cornea is cut and lifted, and the underlying layer of the cornea is reshaped with a laser. The new shape allows the eye to focus images on the back of the retina more clearly. The pain is minimal, and the process takes 15 minutes. This is the most popular laser eye surgery, with over 800,000 procedures being performed in 1999.
  • The PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is an earlier laser eye surgery procedure, and it differs from LASIK in that PRK reshapes the surface of the cornea, not the underlying layer. In other words, it does not lift the top layer, but kinda goes through it. That's why it might be a little more uncomfortable, it takes longer to heal, and the side effects last longer. Also, with PRK, you have to take eye drops for up to 4 months. But on the plus side, PRK is less surgery-ish (fewer instruments, and the surgeon doesn't have to actually cut and lift a flap of the cornea).

Talk to your ophthalmologist about the two procedures, but virtually all ophthalmologists will recommend the LASIK. Using LASIK, within a week, your permanent vision will be reached without any more eye drops or maintenance.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW get laser eye surgery?