LASIK vs. PRK for grapplers

I spent the past few weeks agonizing over whether the laser vision correction I was going to get would be Lasik or PRK. I was 100% sure that I would get Lasik until I met with the doctor, who said that PRK was generally recommended for people in combat sports because of the very small chance that the corneal flap would come loose during training or competition. Perhaps due to an accidental elbow to the face, a shoulder to the eye when your opponent is half guard…


Ok, I thought PRK. That’s fine. I can deal with that. Then I read a little more about it and talked with a few people and I became completely undecided. There’s pros and cons to both surgeries; Lasik has the whole corneal flap coming loose thing, but the recovery time is very short and you can see well the very next day. PRK has the extended recovery time – basically a week where your vision goes to crap as the cornea heals, and from what I’ve heard, it can take months for your vision to really clear up – but there’s no risk, however small, of anything coming loose from a knock to the face. 


Ultimately, I decided to go with the Lasik. I’ve heard that there are plenty of people in combat sports (including BJJ and boxing) who have had Lasik and had no problem. 

I am interested in your experiences, though…have you had Lasik or PRK? Has either affected your training? 

I go under the laser next week – I can’t wait to get it done with. I am thoroughly sick of glasses at this point.

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3 Responses to LASIK vs. PRK for grapplers

  1. I had custom wavefront LASIK in January 2006, and I have been really happy with it – and I’ve bonked myself in the eyes a few times, rubbed them hard, etc etc. If you are really worried about it, could you wear sports goggles of some type, like basketball players?

    Let us know how your surgery turns out! I think you’ll be happy with it 🙂


  2. Dev says:

    I had PRK in 1999. You’re right, the first week after is pretty miserable, but the reassurance of not having to worry about that flap coming loose is worth every second. If you do stuff like skydiving or other impact type stuff I think you’ll find the recommendations the same – PRK is ultimately a safer option.

    Either way, quite honestly, I think you’ll be pleased. Up to you how much risk to assume.


  3. lasikexpert says:

    We recommend LASIK for most people, even those in rough sports but it is important to protect the eyes during the first 3 months healing period. For some people such as boxers who are likely hit in the eye, PRK is a better option.



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