What Is PRK?

What Is PRK?

Advanced surface ablation photorefractive keratectomy (also called 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.

What Happens During PRK Surgery?

After anesthetic drops are instilled, your surgeon gently applies an alcohol-based solution to the surface of your eye in order to loosen the surface cells. Then, the epithelium is gently removed before 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.

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PRK Recovery

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.

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

Who Can Get PRK?

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


  • 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.


  • 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.