TransPRK vs LASIK:Know the Difference before You Decide

TransPRK and LASIK in Singapore are two popular approaches to eye refractive surgeries. Many people ask the question whether they should get TransPRK or LASIK. Perhaps you are one of them because you just clicked on this article. Rest easy, you’re not alone and we want to help you. And while reading this one article will not be able to give you a full explanation of each, we are hoping that our summary can help give you a picture of which approach will suit you best. Here’s what we are going to do: discuss TransPRK, discuss LASIK, and close with a concluding thought. Let’s get started!

Also, find more about the cost for different type of laser vision correction Singapore!

TransPRK: What is it?

TransPRK stands for transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy. It is a type of no-flap and no-blade laser vision correction surgery. It is categorized under Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) surgeries.

Eligible Candidate for TransPRK

To get a TransPRK in Singapore, you need to fulfil these criteria:

  • Above 18 years old
  • Have healthy eyes (without eye problems that might cause greater risks in the surgery, such as: glaucoma, thin corneas, eye injuries, etc.)
  • In good health (without health conditions that might cause greater risks in the surgery, such as: diabetes, cancer, hypertension, etc.)
  • Not currently pregnant and/or not currently breastfeeding

If you fulfil the criteria above, there is a big chance that you are an eligible candidate.

Surgical process of TransPRK

TransPRK uses only one type of laser, which is theexcimer laser to remove your epithelium layer and also to reshape your cornea.

Risks and Side Effects of TransPRK

Like most surgeries, infection is the most feared risk. You need to make sure you don’t get bacteria or dirty substance into your eyes especially during the early stages of recovery. Remember not to rub your eyes and always wear sunglasses when you’re outside. If complications that are infection-related arise, seek help from your surgeon as soon as possible.

Aside from infections, other possible side effects are mild dry eyes and vision issues. Seeing halos and glares, especially at night, is among the common risks of any eye refractive surgery. [1] The good news for TransPRK patients is that these side effects usually are not permanent and only happens during the recovery period.

Cost of TransPRK in Singapore

A TransPRK surgery in Singapore will cost around $3800-5000. This range depends on the pre-operational and post-operational facilities that the clinics provide, the surgical fee, and overall service given for the patients. You probably won’t be able to use Medisave or insurance for this because TransPRK is considered a cosmetic surgery in Singapore.

TransPRK Recovery Process

The initial recovery following a TransPRK surgery takes a good 4-5 days. During this time, the focus lies on your epithelium to naturally heal and grow back. It will also be the period of your downtime. The first few days will be uncomfortable part of the recovery, but you will surely get through it with the help of prescribed medications and good rest. As for total recovery, it can take up around 3-6 months.

TransPRK: Pros and Cons

TransPRK is highly recommended for people who are physically active in their day-to-day lives. It is safer compared to procedures that include a corneal flap creation, such as LASIK. For example, if you are a professional athlete or if you adopts an active lifestyle, TransPRK would be a great fit for you.

Another plus to consider about TransPRK is that is has a lower risk of dry eyes as a side effect after surgery. If you have a tendency to struggle with dry eyes in general, perhaps you should consider TransPRK more than LASIK. No corneal flap also means no risks of experiencing corneal flap dislodgement and other corneal flap-related complications.

Now that we have discussed TransPRK at length, let’s look at LASIK as a comparison.

LASIK: What is it?

LASIK stands for laser-assisted insitukeratomileusis. LASIK is a flap-based vision correction surgery that is highly popular and all-around in nature. LASIK is known foroverall quick recovery. The main stages include creating corneal flap, reshaping the cornea, and repositioning the corneal flap.

Eligible Candidate for LASIK

The basic criteria for a LASIK in Singapore is the same to the criteria for a TransPRK. Here are the points:

  • Already 18 years old
  • Your eyes are healthy (without eye problems that might cause greater risks in the surgery, such as: glaucoma, thin corneas, eye injuries, etc.)
  • You are in good health (without health conditions that might cause greater risks in the surgery, such as: diabetes, cancer, hypertension, etc.)
  • You are not currently pregnant and/or not currently breastfeeding

Consult your LASIK surgeonin order to know your eligiblity.

Surgical process of LASIK

A LASIK procedure utilizes two types of laser to accomplish best corrected vision. [4] The first laser is a femtosecond laser, and the second one is an excimer laser.As mentioned before, there are three main stages in a LASIK surgery. In the first stage, your surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to create a corneal flap. This will expose your cornea. In the second stage, your surgeon will switch to an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. And in the final stage, your surgeon will place your cornea flap back to its original spot.

Risks and Side Effects of LASIK

One of the risk of LASIK surgery is corneal flap dislodgement. Corneal flap dislodgement is only possible in flap-based surgeries. [5] This is why it isn’t a risk factor for surface based laser vision correction such as TransPRK. Corneal flap dislodgement can happen if there’s harsh physical contact with the recovering eyes. Because of this risk, it’s so important to consider your lifestyle before choosing a type of vision correction surgery. LASIK isn’t the best option if you have an active lifestyle.

Cost of LASIK in Singapore

A LASIK surgery in Singapore will cost around $3500- 4500. Again, this range is dependent on various factors, such as facilities and services provided by the clinics and surgeons. Similar to TransPRK, you probably won’t be able to use Medisave or insurance for your LASIK surgery in Singapore because LASIK is a cosmetic surgery.

LASIK Recovery Process

The initial LASIK recovery process takes 1-3 days. This will be your main downtime, when it is advisable to take time off work and your regular routine to focus on resting. Most LASIK patients can resume to most of their daily activities after their downtime, while paying attention to the recovery guidelines given by your surgeon. As for full recovery, LASIK patients will need about 1-3 months.

LASIK: Pros and Cons

LASIK has a recovery journey which are relatively quicker, compared to TransPRK and other Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) surgeries.

However, LASIK is not recommended for those who live an active lifestyle. The risk of corneal flap dislodgement is a huge disadvantage for patients going for a LASIK surgery.