Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK is an alternative to LASIK that offers excellent outcomes. Like LASIK, PRK is an effective treatment option for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. However, because no corneal flap is created during PRK, it can be used to treat some eyes that would not qualify for LASIK treatment. Instead, the surface layer of the cornea is gently cleaned off, before the exact same excimer laser that is used for LASIK is used to precisely reshape the corneal curvature. The treatment laser and the laser correction are identical to that used for LASIK, but because we are treating a more superficial layer of the cornea we can treat some eyes that are not good candidates for LASIK.
Who is a good candidate for PRK?
While LASIK has become the most popular treatment for vision correction surgery, PRK continues to be an excellent alternative in many circumstances. Both LASIK and PRK use the same laser and treatment pattern to reshape the cornea to properly refocus light onto the retina for clear vision. Many of our patients who have thin corneas, who have had previous refractive surgery, who have hobbies or professions that put them at increased risk for physical eye trauma, or who are not a good LASIK candidate for various other reasons can still enjoy freedom from glasses by having PRK.
How is PRK different from LASIK?
The main difference between LASIK and PRK is in the first step of the procedures when the underlying tissue of the cornea is exposed for resurfacing. In PRK, the method of exposure results in a slightly longer recovery period than LASIK and the first 2-4 days after treatment tend to be more uncomfortable. However, the visual acuity at 3 months for both procedures is identical, and both offer excellent long-term outcomes.
Is LASIK or PRK right for me?
Achieving clear vision changes lives. The best way to determine your candidacy for laser vision correction, whether LASIK or PRK, is to take our Vision Quiz, then request a consultation with one of our physicians.
* Due to the additional health conditions that frequently present in patients over 55 years of age (such as cataracts), patients over 55 must have a comprehensive dilated exam before we can determine if laser vision correction is the best treatment.