PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is LASIK’s predecessor and the first ever laser eye surgery approved for vision correction. It is still used for the correction of nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

Like LASIK, PRK uses the laser to gently reshape the surface of the eye, providing clearer vision.

How does PRK work?

During LASIK, your surgeon uses a microkeratome or femtosecond laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. This flap is then lifted so that the surgeon can reform the underlying corneal tissue with a second laser.  The flap is subsequently replaced into its original position.

PRK, however, has no flap. The thin outer layer of the cornea is removed and discarded. The surgeon then uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Since there is no flap to replace over the treated surface, a contact lens is placed on the eye to promote healing and provide comfort.  This lens requires no maintenance and is usually removed after several days by your doctor.

PRK typically provides excellent results for patients with low to moderate myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia.

What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?

PRK has advantages over LASIK.  Since there is no flap with PRK, there is no risk of flap complications.  PRK is also an option for many patients who cannot have LASIK due to significant dry eye problems or if their cornea is too thin for LASIK.

People who receive PRK have a longer recovery time than people who receive LASIK.

How long does it take to recover from PRK?

Your eye will take 3-6 days to heal sufficiently for the contact lens to be removed. Full visual recovery takes an additional period of time, ranging from days to weeks.  This contrasts with LASIK where visual recovery is measured in hours or a few days.

Once the healing is complete, the visual results with PRK are excellent and provide a viable alternative to LASIK for some patients.

Am I a candidate for PRK?

To find out if you are a candidate for PRK or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 762-235-3204.

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