Ask Your Doctor: LASIK & PRK FAQs

October 21st, 2022

Before any procedure, you’ll likely have lots of questions about what to expect, recovery, post-op and more. Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vision correction surgery with ICON Eyecare Grand Junctions’s top surgeons to help you understand more about LASIK and PRK eye surgery.



How Long Does LASIK Last?

LASIK generally lasts long term; however, sometimes your prescription can change slightly over time. Touch ups are usually needed less than 5% of the time in the first year or two. Keep in mind that if you get LASIK in both eyes for seeing distance, you would need glasses for close up work as you approach your mid-40s. This is due to the natural aging process of the eye.

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK is a relatively short and straightforward eye procedure to reduce dependency on glasses and contact lenses. In most cases, no blade is involved. Laser is used to create a small flap of tissue from your cornea. After gently lifting this flap, another laser will then custom shape your cornea according to your prescription. This results in quickly improving your vision and reducing need for corrective lenses.

Does Insurance Cover LASIK?

In most cases, your insurance will view LASIK as a non-covered procedure.

Does LASIK Hurt?

Great care is taken to ensure that you are comfortable during and after your procedure. Sedatives and other medications are given before your procedure, and you are also sent home with drops to help limit discomfort. However, some mild eye irritation and mild discomfort should be expected, typically only lasting a short time.

Is LASIK Safe?

LASIK has an excellent safety track record. Sight threatening complications are rarely encountered.

Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

Yes, LASIK can correct fairly high amounts of regular astigmatism.

Can You Get LASIK with Astigmatism?

Yes, regular astigmatism is routinely corrected with LASIK.

How Long Does LASIK Take?

The LASIK procedure itself takes about 15 minutes for both eyes. Total time will vary depending on several factors.

Is LASIK Permanent?

Yes, LASIK is permanent. However, your eyes will likely change slightly over time which could require a touch up. You will also need reading glasses in your mid-40s due to the natural aging process of your eyes.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get LASIK?

LASIK is FDA approved for 18 and older. However, the decision to get LASIK depends on many factors and some people may need to wait longer.

Can You Get LASIK Twice?

Rarely, LASIK procedures will need a touch up within the first year or so from surgery. This procedure is similar to the first LASIK, but a new flap is not required.

Are You Awake During LASIK?

You are awake but comfortable. Sedatives are given to help you relax during the procedure.

How Long is LASIK Recovery?

Typically recovery is about 1 week. However, many people can go back to most normal activities within 2-3 days. Keep in mind no eye rubbing for several weeks following your procedure.




What is PRK Surgery?

PRK is a procedure similar to LASIK with the goal of reducing dependency on glasses and contact lenses. Your vision is corrected using laser but there are some differences from LASIK.

How Long Does PRK Last?

PRK is permanent, but your eyes may change slightly over time. You will also need glasses for reading in your mid-40s due to the natural aging process of the eye.

How Long After PRK Can I Watch TV?

Yes, you can watch TV the same day as the procedure, just don’t forget about your eye drops!

Is PRK Better Than LASIK?

Not necessarily. However, for some patients, PRK is a better option than LASIK depending on their goals or shape of the cornea. Both PRK and LASIK typically have great outcomes.

Is PRK Safer Than LASIK?

Both procedures have their own unique risks, but fortunately LASIK and PRK both have excellent track records of safe outcomes.

How Long After PRK Can I Drive?

Most often, within 3-5 days from surgery. However, every patient responds differently and in some cases, PRK can take longer to heal completely.

How Long Does PRK Surgery Take?

PRK takes about 5-7 minutes per eye.

How Long Does PRK Take to Heal?

PRK can have variable healing times. Many people have improved vision within 3-5 days. Others may require a couple weeks or rarely longer.

What is the Difference Between PRK and LASIK?

With PRK, the outer layer of the cornea is gently removed. Laser is then used to reshape your cornea to fit your individual prescription. A contact lens is applied and will remain on your eye until the outer layer of your cornea has healed, usually within 1 week and then removed at a follow up visit.

Can You Get PRK Twice?

Yes, PRK can usually be done twice.

Does PRK Hurt?

You are given medications during and after PRK to limit discomfort. However, you may experience some discomfort within the first day or two of surgery as the eye heals.

Does PRK Fix Astigmatism?

Yes, PRK can treat regular astigmatism.

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