Recovery Time After Vision Correction Surgery: Compare Your Options

If you are seeking freedom from dependence on glasses or contacts, it is important to learn about your options and choose the procedure that is best for you. Many people pursue vision correction surgery with the goal of simplifying their routine or enhancing an active lifestyle, so it makes sense that recovery time is a factor in the decision to have LASIK, PRK, or Visian ICL™. Our vision correction experts at Harvard Eye Associates explain what you can expect during recovery from different types of vision correction surgery.

Comparing LASIK, PRK, and Visian ICL Recovery

The first thing to keep in mind is that every patient is unique and your individual experience with recovery after vision correction surgery may vary. You can increase your chances of a quick recovery and a good outcome by following all of your eye doctor’s postoperative instructions.

LASIK Recovery

LASIK laser vision correction surgery improves vision by reshaping the cornea. Immediately after surgery, patients often experience some mild discomfort and blurry vision; it is recommended that you take a couple of days off of work after LASIK.* Your LASIK surgeon will advise you to avoid certain activities, such as strenuous exercise or swimming, for several weeks after your procedure. Learn More About LASIK

Visian ICL Recovery

Visian ICL Implantable Collamer® Lens is an innovative vision correction procedure in which a biocompatible lens is implanted in the eye through a tiny opening in the cornea. Visian ICL can improve mild to severe myopia and astigmatism. Visian ICL is often an option for many patients who are not candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas, high level of myopia (or nearsightedness), or dry eye concerns.

Recovery after Visian ICL is typically quick, with most patients resuming regular activities within days after the procedure. Patients love that there is minimal downtime needed and, unlike LASIK or PRK, Visian ICL can be removed, if needed.

PRK Recovery

PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) is often seen as a traditional LASIK alternative because it can be performed on patients who cannot have LASIK due to thin or irregular corneas. Like LASIK, vision improvement is achieved by reshaping the cornea. The difference is that instead of using a laser to create a flap in the cornea, the laser treatment is performed on the surface of the eye. Healing time is slightly longer than LASIK (typically 4-5 days) but ultimately, the visual outcomes are the same. Patients are required to wear a bandage contact lens to protect the eye for 5 days and they will need to use prescription eye drops for up to a month after surgery.*

Find Your Visual Freedom

Take the first step to better vision by learning more about your options. Contact us with any questions or to schedule a free consultation.


*1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. LASIK: What should I expect before, during, and after surgery? Available: Accessed March 29, 2021

*2 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)? Available: Accessed March 29, 2021