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Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)

What is PRK?

The first form of excimer laser vision correction was Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK). Today, it is still a valuable option and is used to correct nearsightedness, astigmatism, and farsightedness. PRK uses a non-thermal ultraviolet wavelength excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea for correction of these refractive errors. PRK uses the same excimer laser technology as LASIK. The difference between the two procedures is that there is no flap creation during the PRK procedure. This allows us to perform PRK in patients who have a cornea that is “too thin” for LASIK. The biggest disadvantage to PRK is that the recovery time is slightly longer than the recovery time for LASIK.

Recovery for PRK

This surgery typically takes less than five minutes per eye. It requires a longer recovery than LASIK however the visual results are similar to what we can achieve with LASIK. Post-operatively, patients will require a bandage contact lens for three to five days following the procedure and a course of topical steroid drops for one to two months. Patients will see improvement of visual function over several days to several weeks. PRK is a great solution for any patient that has thin corneas who would otherwise not be a candidate for LASIK.

Is PRK Better or Worse Than LASIK?

While there are small differences in the procedures, neither LASIK nor PRK is better or worse than the other. They are both low-risk procedures that can produce excellent and clear vision. Dr Salisbury will determine which procedure would be best suited for you during your consultation.


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