Posted by: Manhattan LASIK Center

Laser vision correction has quite literally changed the way that we see the world, but with various different techniques available, deciding which is right for you may feel like a minefield. Here’s what you need to know about four of the most popular forms of laser vision correction, their benefits, and whether they may be suitable for you.


PRK or photorefractive keratectomy was the very first laser vision correction technique developed and remains extremely popular today. Like all types of laser vision correction, PRK works by reshaping the cornea so that light is refracted correctly. However, to do this, the PRK technique removes and discards the entire epithelium, which is the thin, outer layer covering the cornea, so that the area to be reshaped is exposed beneath. After the laser reshaping is complete, the epithelium naturally regenerates over the following days/week. It takes slightly longer for patients to recover from PRK, but there’s no risk of some of the complications of other techniques.

Key Benefits of PRK Include:

  • Tried and tested technique. PRK is the oldest form of laser vision correction and has a long and successful history.
  • There is no risk of flap-related complications (unlike LASIK) since the entire epithelium is removed and discarded.
  • PRK is suitable for some patients where LASIK or other laser vision corrections are not, such as people with thin corneas.
  • PRK has a fantastic success rate. Approximately 97% of patients achieve 20/20 vision following their PRK surgery¹.

Good Candidates for PRK Surgery are People Who:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Have a stable prescription within certain limits
  • Have healthy eyes and have not had an eye injury or infection within the past year

PRK is particularly good for patients who are found to be poor candidates for LASIK and other laser vision techniques due to having very thin corneas.


LASIK, short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, is the most well-known form of laser vision correction. LASIK differs from PRK in that instead of removing the epithelium, tiny microkeratome blades are used to create a thin, hinged flap within it. This flap is opened to access the underlying cornea which is then reshaped using the Excimer laser. After the reshaping is complete, the flap is replaced and left to heal. Although recovery is quicker than PRK, the most common complications that can arise from LASIK usually relate to the healing of the flap. Nevertheless, complications are fairly rare.

Key Benefits of LASIK include:

  • Recovery is swift, with most patients able to return to their usual activities within 24 hours of their LASIK surgery. This is because the epithelium needs to heal, rather than regenerate.
  • Patients typically experience less post-procedure discomfort than those who choose PRK.
  • Vision is improved immediately after surgery and will continue to enhance over the recovery period.
  • Excellent success rates, with more than 90% of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better, and more than 90% achieving 20/40 vision².    

Good Candidates for LASIK Surgery are People Who:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Have a stable prescription within certain limits
  • Have healthy eyes and have not had an eye injury or infection within the past year
  • Have normal-sized pupils

Every candidate is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and if you are not a good candidate for LASIK, you may be suitable for another form of laser vision correction.

Bladeless LASIK

Bladeless LASIK is one of the newer evolutions of traditional LASIK, and as you may have guessed from the name, bladeless LASIK uses a special laser rather than blades, called a femtosecond laser, to create the flap that is then used to access the underlying cornea. The rest of the surgery remains the same. There are many benefits associated with bladeless LASIK, but the cost of treatment is a little higher than conventional LASIK surgery.

Key Benefits of Bladeless LASIK Include:

  • Greater accuracy, precision, and uniformity of the corneal flaps, which help to reduce the risks of complications and improve healing.
  • There is a lower risk of corneal abrasions during the procedure.
  • There is decreased risk of accidentally induced astigmatism after your procedure.
  • Thinner flaps can be created, which enables surgeons to correct higher levels of astigmatism.
  • The procedure is performed using leading femtosecond laser technology.

Generally, anyone who is a good candidate for LASIK is also a candidate for bladeless LASIK. However, if you have a high level of astigmatism, bladeless LASIK may be more appropriate for you. Your laser vision correction surgeon in Paramus NJ will be able to advise you which treatment you should consider.


ReLEX SMILE, also known as SMILE LASIK, is an innovative new laser vision technique for correcting patient eyesight. Unlike conventional approaches, in SMILE, the laser is first used to create a very small incision on the cornea. This incision provides access to the underlying tissue, where the laser is then used to create a tiny, disc-shaped area called a lenticule, which is removed to reshape the cornea. After the removal of the lenticule, the incision is left to heal naturally.

Key Benefits of ReLEX SMILE Include:

  • It is a technique that is considered safer than any other type of laser vision correction.
  • SMILE can safely and effectively be used for higher prescriptions.
  • Patients experience greater comfort during the procedure and are able to retain their sight while it is performed, which helps them to feel safer and more reassured.
  • The incision used to access the cornea is around 80% smaller than the flap used in traditional LASIK, which lowers the risk of complications and speeds up patient recovery.
  • There is no flap creation, meaning no risk of a flap moving, folding, wrinkling, or causing other issues.
  • SMILE is considered to be much better for the long-term stability of the cornea.
  • SMILE produces predictable and consistent results.
  • SMILE is performed solely using cutting-edge femtosecond lasers.

ReLEX SMILE is suitable for the vast majority of patients who have healthy eyes and stable prescriptions, including those who may not be suitable for conventional LASIK. Your laser vision correction surgeon in Paramus, NJ will be able to assess your candidacy based on your individual circumstances.

Learn more about any of these forms of laser vision correction, contact Manhattan LASIK Center in Paramus, NJ at (212) 759-9617 to schedule a ​​​FREE virtual consultation