Advanced surface ablation photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an Excimer laser to gently and accurately reshape the surface of the cornea at the most anterior portion of the cornea stroma. It's similar to LASIK, but no flap is created.

Recovery & Outcomes

The patient goes home with a soft contact lens bandage over the eye for three to five days. Visual recovery with PRK is about one to three weeks. Statistical outcomes for PRK are equivalent to LASIK outcome statistics.

Most patients who are eligible for LASIK can have PRK. This technique may be preferred for patients with thinner corneas or severe dry eyes.

Pros & Cons for Advanced Surface Ablation Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Pros:

  • Those patients who may not be eligible for LASIK may be a candidate for PRK.
  • PRK eases dry eyes.
  • No flap is created during the procedure.
  • PRK is a very predictable and stabile procedure.

Cons:

  • Patients may have episodes of moderate discomfort/pain for one to four days after surgery.
  • Patients usually do not achieve optimal vision for several weeks.
  • There is more healing response, though a low risk of developing scarring or unsmooth surface, which will typically will resolve in a few months.

PRK Procedure Overview

After anesthetic drops are instilled, the surgeon gently applies an alcohol-based solution to the surface of the eye in order to loosen the surface cells. Then, the epithelium is gently removed prior to treatment. The Excimer laser then modifies the shape of your cornea to eliminate the need for corrective lenses. A soft contact lens is placed on your eye immediately after your procedure to act as a bandage.

Amy Lin, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Amy Lin, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment diseases at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and at the Moran Eye Center at the Midvalley Health Center. Her interests include corneal transplantation, anterior segment reconstruction, cataract surgery (including advanced technolo... Read More

Mark D. Mifflin, MD

Patient Rating:

4.8

4.8 out of 5

Mark D. Mifflin is a board-certified, fellowship trained cornea, cataract, and refractive surgeon with over 20 years of clinical experience.  His specialties include complex cataract surgery, all forms of corneal transplantion, reconstructive surgery of the anterior segment of the eye, and LASIK, PRK, and intraocular lens vision correction.  Dr. Mi... Read More

Brian E. Zaugg, MD

Patient Rating:

4.7

4.7 out of 5

Brian Zaugg, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment eye diseases, including expertise in all types of cornea transplantation, routine and complex cataract surgery (including multifocal lenses and laser assisted surgery), anterior segment reconstruction, pterygium removal, refractive surgery including L... Read More

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