If you’re considering laser eye surgery, you may be wondering, what is the difference between PRK and LASIK? As leading laser eye surgery specialists, we are asked this question almost daily! At Optilase, we provide Perth’s most affordable PRK laser eye surgery.

The reason we choose to only perform PRK surgery is because we believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to access. In this blog, we cover the differences between LASIK vs. PRK laser surgery, costs and recovery processes to help you make a well-informed decision about which vision correction procedure is right for you.

How are PRK and LASIK similar?

  • LASIK and PRK are similar but slightly different techniques for refractive eye surgery

  • Both surgeries are used to treat visual impairments such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness

  • LASIK and PRK both use the same  laser to reshape the clear outer layer of your eye that refracts light known as the cornea

How Laser Eye Surgery Corrects Astigmatism

What is PRK laser eye surgery?

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the original form of laser refractive vision correction. It has been used in clinical practice for over 25 years and provides proven results and exceptional safety. PRK is bladeless and uses an excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea with no physical ‘surgery’ or touching of your eye by the ophthalmologist.

What is LASIK laser eye surgery?

Laser In Situ Keratomileusis is more commonly known as LASIK and is a very well-known laser surgery procedure. Lasik surgery involves a two-step procedure; firstly, a thin flap is cut using a femtosecond laser. The flap is then folded back, and the refractive correction is done using the same laser as PRK; the flap is then repositioned.

What is the difference between PRK and LASIK surgery?

PRK and LASIK surgery procedures

The key difference between PRK and LASIK laser eye surgery procedures is the two-step procedure in which a flap is created in LASIK before laser correction.

PRK is one step;  the excimer laser first removes the epithelium or surface layer (.05 of a millimetre thick) and then goes on to reshape the cornea. At Optilase, we use a state-of-the-art Wavelight ® EX500 excimer laser where micro-sections are removed from your cornea to provide extremely precise results. A contact lens is then placed over the eye to protect the corneal whilst the surface epithelium heals; this usually takes 24 to 36 hours.

If you have a naturally thinner cornea, PRK may be a more accessible option than LASIK, as the corneal tissue doesn’t need as much thickness as  LASIK to do the procedure.

Both surgeries are painless thanks to local anaesthetic eye drops. PRK surgery takes approximately 1 minute per eye, and your entire appointment takes approximately half an hour from start to finish. LASIK takes longer, around 15 minutes per eye.

How Laser Eye Surgery Corrects Astigmatism

PRK and LASIK surgery recovery

Your recovery time post-PRK surgery is generally 2-3 days, although this may change due to external factors. The beauty of PRK is the minimised risk of complications post-surgery, as there is no risk of the surface layer flap coming away from the healing cornea. Although your vision is blurry for up to three days post-surgery, after this initial recovery time, your vision will rapidly improve and continue to improve over thirty days.

LASIK surgery has a faster initial healing time but has slightly more potential for complications both during and post-surgery; these include dry eye and flap displacement. LASIK is not suitable for individuals in high-risk careers such as the Police Force, athletes and security guards due to the risk of being hit and potentially damaging the flap before it has completely healed. 

For both surgeries, some discomfort is present as the eye heals.


In Australia, the rising cost of laser eye surgery is quickly becoming a barrier to access. In Perth, laser eye surgery costs can be as large as $6,000 to $7,500 for LASIK. At Optilase, we’re passionate about providing affordable laser eye surgery at a fixed price of only $1,899 per eye and a free suitability consultation. 

Our affordable prices are achieved by reducing overheads associated with staffing costs, property acquisition and patient acquisition, such as advertising.

How to choose between PRK or LASIK

Ultimately, the choice between PRK or LASIK will come down to your personal circumstances. If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable option, PRK at Optilase may be right for you. To help you determine your laser eye surgery suitability, we offer complimentary suitability consultations. 

With over 30 years of experience performing eye surgery in Perth and Peel, our Optilase team can help you enjoy the freedom from glasses and contact lenses. We believe that PRK laser eye surgery is a life-changing procedure for individuals who rely on glasses or contact lenses to see the world. Make an appointment today to see if PRK laser eye surgery is right for you.



Monday – Saturday | 8:30am – 4:30pm


Optilase provide WA’s most affordable laser eye surgery at only $1,899.00 per eye. Book your suitability appointment today.