Tacoma | (253) 759-5555 Gig Harbor | (253) 858-5186
Vision Correction at Pacific Northwest Eye Associates

Laser Vision Correction (LASIK / PRK)

Laser vision correction procedures are called LASIK or PRK.

LASIK is known as laser in situ keratomilieusis and PRK is known as photorefractive keratectomy. These are commonly used laser-based outpatient surgical procedures used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.

In both LASIK and PRK eye surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea (the clear covering of the eye) to improve the way the eye focuses light rays onto the retina. The goal of LASIK and PRK is to decrease your dependence on glasses or contacts and, in many cases, allow you to do without them entirely.

Traditionally, LASIK has been performed with a flap making instrument called a microkeratome for the creation of LASIK flaps. The microkeratome uses a metal blade that moves across the eye, creating a LASIK flap. In the past decade as technology has advanced, laser-based flap makers have replaced the microkeratome in most cutting-edge practices across the country because of the accuracy and safety of the laser flap maker. At PNWE, we use a laser flap maker to create your LASIK flap, so your procedure is 100% blade free. Once the flap is created, laser vision correction is performed in the stromal bed of the cornea and then the corneal flap is gently put back into position.

In PRK, there is no flap created. This procedure entails removing the surface epithelium with a gentle surface removal technique and then performing the laser vision procedure. Once the procedure is completed, the epithelium then grows back over the following 1-2 weeks. The healing time after PRK tends to be longer than LASIK but both procedures have similar long term visual outcomes.  A common reason patients decide on PRK over LASIK is if they have thinner than normal corneas. During your detailed consultation with Dr. Patel, your corneal thickness will be measured, and Dr. Patel will customize a laser surgery plan best for you.

If you are interested in finding out if laser vision correction surgery or any of our other vision correction procedures are right for you, please contact our Vision Correction Surgery Coordinators by calling them directly at (253) 759-5500 or by contacting them via email at lasik@pnweye.com.  They will schedule a complimentary screening exam where your individual vision correction surgery plan will be discussed with you after doing measurements of your eyes. Once we have determined that you are a good candidate for vision correction surgery, you will return to visit with Dr. Niraj Patel for a detailed examination in preparation for your procedure.