TransPRK - Transepithelial PhotoRefractive Keratectomy

TransPRK vs Epi-LASIK


Epi-LASIK is a procedure that removes the most superficial layer of the cornea with a blunt metal or plastic oscillating blade. This layer is then discarded and the underlying substance of the cornea is reshaped with a laser.


TransPRK, on the other hand, is an all-laser, no blade, no touch method of reshaping the cornea. It is a quick one-step surgery.

TransPRK is safer than Epi-LASIK as there is no blade scrapping across the cornea. It has all the advantages of Epi-LASIK and none of the drawbacks. TransPRK was never popular because only one laser company, SCHWIND eye-tech-solutions, has succeeded in obtaining the consistency and accuracy in this very elegant laser technique.

Listed below is a compilation of differences between Epi-LASIK and TransPRK for your further understanding. (LASIK has also been added into the table to help you better compare and contrast).

Differences between Epi-LASIK, TransPRK and LASIK

Epi-LASIK TransPRK Intralase LASIK
Rate of Healing Slow Slow Fast
Pain More More Less
Risk of Haze High High Low or No
Risk of Haze High High Low or No
Medication Period Longer Longer Shorter
Ease of Surgery High High Low
Enhancement Capability None High High
Complications More (Can cut into cornea) Less (No Blade) Less
Cost of Equipment Low Low High
Flap Thickness 50+/-20 Microns 50+/-20 Microns 90-160 Microns

Due to the fact that the epithelium is "removed" in both types of surgery, both have a rather slower rate of healing, more pain, a higher risk of haze as well as a longer medication period (especially in comparison to Intralase LASIK).

However, one can conclude that TransPRK is still better than Epi-LASIK

TransPRK has a higher ease of enhancement, meaning one can still undergo enhancement in the unfortunate event of under-correction or complications. Furthermore, with the technology of the SCHWIND AMARIS 1050RS, TransPRK has a shorter treatment time, which reduces the time that the "naked" cornea is exposed to the environment, in turn increasing the accuracy and consistency of results. There is also less risk of complications occurring in TransPRK than in Epi-LASIK. There is no suction of the eye, which in turn reduces the chance of bruising. Most importantly, there is NO blade. This eliminates any fear of cutting into the cornea, as compared to Epi-LASIK.