The two main types of vision correction surgery are LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Both procedures use lasers to reshape the cornea so it can refract light correctly, eliminating conditions such as an astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. LASIK surgery requires us to create a corneal slit, an extremely thin flap that allows us to treat the cornea. Thanks to modern technology, we use one type of laser to create the corneal flap and another type to correct the cornea's refractive errors.
PRK surgery involves many of the same techniques as LASIK. The main difference is that instead of creating a corneal flap, we simple remove the entire outer layer of the cornea. This actually makes the surgery slightly safer than LASIK, although both procedures are very safe and have an extremely low rate of complications (roughly 1 in every 10,000 surgeries).
However, PRK surgery does require a longer recovery period because your cornea must grow a new outer layer. We typically recommend PRK surgery for people who are unable to qualify for LASIK due to the shape of their corneas or other medical conditions.