Eye lasers

Trans-PRK vs Femto-LASIK Compared

Nearly all vision problems can be corrected with laser eye surgery but with several on the market, it can be difficult to understand which one is right for you. At betterview, we offer two types of laser eye surgery treatments: Trans-PRK and Femto-LASIK. Both are different and each has its own pros and cons, which we’ll explore in this article.

Last Update: 28 February 2024Created by: betterviewReading time: 4 minutes
facebook social icontwitter social iconlinkedin social icon
Full width image

What is LASIK Laser Eye Surgery?

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is a common type of surface laser eye surgery that can correct several vision problems such as myopia (shortsightedness), hyperopia (longsightedness), and astigmatism.

The LASIK procedure is usually performed with two lasers to create an incision on the thin top layer of the cornea, known as the LASIK flap. This flap is then lifted and the cornea is reshaped to fix the specific vision issue. The flap is then smoothed back down and heals naturally.

What is Femto-LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK laser eye surgery was invented in the 1990s but, today, the modern version is known as Femto-LASIK.

The main difference between LASIK and Femto-LASIK is that the Femto-LASIK procedure does not create the LASIK flap manually with a microkeratome (a type of surgical instrument) but rather with a femtosecond laser that does not touch the cornea.

Compared to LASIK, is Femto-LASIK painful? The good news is that Femto-LASIK is less painful and has a quicker recovery time compared to the original procedure.

What is PRK Laser Eye Surgery?

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was the first-ever laser eye technique developed in the field. The PRK procedure involved using a laser to restructure the cornea and correct the vision problem, however, unlike LASIK, no corneal flap is created. PRK laser eye surgery is really quick but can be more painful than LASIK laser eye surgery.

What is Trans-PRK Laser Eye Surgery?

Trans-PRK (Transepithelial PRK) laser eye surgery is the new version of PRK laser eye surgery.

Trans-PRK laser eye surgery uses an excimer laser that removes the corneal tissue layer as part of the entire cornea restructuring procedure. By using an excimer laser to remove the corneal tissue, the procedure time is shortened. Moreover, when it comes to laser eye surgery laser types, the excimer laser is extremely accurate and does not damage the surrounding tissues.

Differences Between Femto-LASIK und Trans-PRK

There are a few key differences between Femto-LASIK and Trans-PRK laser eye surgery, namely their ability to treat certain vision problems, the treatment process, and recovery time.

Suitability

Both Femto-LASIK and Trans-PRK laser eye surgery alters the curvature and focusing power of the cornea to treat vision issues such as shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism.

Not sure which laser eye treatment would work for you? Don’t worry, your ophthalmologist will conduct a series of tests to determine whether Trans-PRK or Femto-LASIK is best suited to you. If you’d like to learn more about whether or not you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery, read our blog on laser eye surgery suitability.

Treatment

One of the greatest things about laser eye surgery is that the procedure is pretty quick and you can go home the same day.

Before treatment, your eyes will be anaesthetised with eye drops and kept open with a special clip. You’ll be awake throughout the treatment and your ophthalmologist will talk you through the entire procedure. If you have Femto-LASIK laser eye surgery, the treatment is about thirty minutes for both eyes. Trans-PRK is even quicker with each eye only taking a few minutes to be lasered.

After your treatment, you may feel slight discomfort in the treated eye(s) and your vision will be blurry. It’s really important that you organise a lift home as you are not allowed to drive after laser eye surgery. One of the advantages of getting your eyes lasered with betterview is that we can organise a lift service on your behalf.

When you have either Femto-LASIK or Trans-PRK laser eye surgery with us, the entire process is complete in just four simple steps.

First, you attend a 30-minute, no-obligation preliminary exam. Then a main exam is conducted with our ophthalmologist to determine exactly what treatment is best for you. After that, you undergo treatment at one of our modern clinics. And lastly, you then visit us for a follow-up appointment to ensure your eyes are healing properly and your vision has improved.

Article image

Recovery

The recovery time between Trans-PRK and Femto-LASIK laser eye surgery is actually the greatest difference between them.

Femto-LASIK laser eye surgery recovery time is relatively quick, with most patients feeling fully operational just one or two days after the procedure. On the other hand, for patients who have Trans-PRK laser surgery, the healing time is a little longer, and may take up to a week for them to start feeling fully operational.

Throughout your recovery process, your ophthalmologist will monitor your pain as well as the acuity of your eyes post-surgery. It’s not recommended that you do activities such as driving, travelling, wearing makeup, or playing sports without consulting your ophthalmologist beforehand.

Follow-Up

If you have Femto-LASIK laser eye surgery, your first follow-up appointment is just one day after your surgery. Your ophthalmologist will check that your corneal flap has not moved and that it’s healing as expected. A second appointment takes place a week later.

Since the healing process after Trans-PRK laser eye surgery is a bit longer, you’ll have several follow-up appointments. The first check-up happens five days after your surgery and your ophthalmologist will check everything is healing properly and that your pain is being managed appropriately. In the months following, you’ll have to attend several appointments just to check that your vision is developing as expected.

Femto-LASIK or Trans-PRK – Which Is Better?

Although both types of laser eye surgery have their pros and cons, your ophthalmologist will ultimately determine which option is for you.

Femto-LASIK has a quicker recovery time and is less painful than Trans-PRK, however, it may not be an option for everybody. If you suffer from dry eyes or have a thin cornea, for example, you may likely have to have Trans-PRK laser eye surgery.

Ready to start your journey to better eyesight? Get safe, high-precision laser eye surgery with betterview and book a free, no-obligation initial appointment today.

Free preliminary examination