PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, has proven remarkably effective at treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Like LASIK surgery, PRK is performed to help you reduce your dependence on glasses and contacts and improve your vision. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that PRK removes the outer skin of the cornea and applies the laser directly to the cornea’s surface; whereas LASIK creates a corneal flap without removing the entire outer layer of the cornea, followed by laser treatment to the inner tissue of the cornea. One of the biggest advantages of PRK surgery is that it provides an alternative for patients who are not candidates for LASIK, while offering essentially the same results.
- Must be 18 years of age or over
- Candidates must have corneas that are too thin for the LASIK procedure
- Candidates must have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
- Candidates must not be nursing or pregnant, or planning to become pregnant or nursing within a year
- Candidates must not have suffered from an eye disease or injury
For patients who do not meet the requirements for PRK or LASIK, there are other alternatives that can effectively improve vision. Please contact our PRK facilities serving Los Angeles and the surrounding area to schedule a consultation.
The PRK Procedure:
At the start of the procedure, anesthetic drops will be applied to your eyes. One of our PRK surgeons will remove the epithelium (a thin layer of skin protecting the cornea) and reshape the cornea with laser light. This should allow light to ultimately enter the eye in a different way, significantly improving vision and reducing the need for corrective eyewear. The entire procedure takes less than five minutes.
It is important to note that immediately after your PRK surgery, your vision will be slightly blurred, so you should arrange for someone to drive you home following treatment. You will likely experience some discomfort after the procedure as the epithelium heals, but medication, eye drops, and a protective contact lens can be provided to alleviate any residual pain. Normal daily routines can typically be resumed within one to three days after PRK surgery. Results are usually apparent shortly after the procedure, with even greater vision improvement occurring over the next six months.
Please contact the Laser Eye Center for more information on PRK, or to schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists.