Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK

Photorefractive keratectomy or (PRK) is one of the safest and most time tested laser vision correction procedures available. Before LASIK, PRK was the most common refractive procedure. Like LASIK, it reshapes the cornea with an excimer laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, it does so without making a flap and without the use of a microkeratome blade used in traditional LASIK procedures. The benefits of PRK over LASIK are the elimination of flap complications, reduced risk of dry eye problems, and the ability to perform the procedure on patients with thinner corneas or extremely high degrees of refractive errors.

Candidates for PRK

This procedure is ideal for a patient who:

  • Is over 21 years old
  • Has had stable vision and refraction for at least one year
  • Has a healthy cornea
  • Has refractive error(s) that fall within the treatable range
  • Does not have a corneal disease or condition that could impair the procedure or the healing process
  • Has been educated about the procedure including its risks, alternatives, and benefits
  • Understands that the goal of surgery is to improve vision and reduce dependence on glasses and contact lenses

PRK Procedure

PRK is performed on an outpatient basis using numbing drops and a mild oral sedative. During the PRK procedure, an instrument will be placed in the eye to prevent it from blinking. Then your surgeon will use one of a various techniques to remove the superficial layer of the cornea. The excimer laser then reshapes the curvature of the cornea by delivering customized laser pulses based on each person’s individual prescription. A bandage contact lens (a contact lens with no prescription) is then placed on the eye to promote proper healing. The bandage contact lens will be worn from 3 to 5 days depending on how your eye heals. Vision will initially be fairly blurry, but will improve dramatically over the first 3 to 5 days. The final vision may not stabilize for up to 3 to 4 months, but once stable, vision results are comparable to LASIK.
At Chico Eye Center, we use the newest developments in PRK surgery which includes “CustomVue WaveFront” technology. Because your eyes are as unique as a fingerprint, it is now possible to “map” them in much the same way. This “map”, much like a blueprint, is then used to customize your procedure with as much precision as possible. This new technology, along with our VISX Star S4 laser with ActiveTrack (infrared eye tracking to maintain centration and fixation) and Iris Recognition technology provides even greater satisfaction, better overall vision and results (a higher chance of 20/20 vision or better), and fewer side effects.


The results of PRK are considered comparable to those achievable with LASIK. PRK does not correct presbyopia, a natural change in the eyes that affects everyone over the age of 40, so patients that need reading glasses will continue to need them after surgery.

For more information on our services, call our office to make an appointment.

Request An Appointment

Quick Contact

  • * All indicated fields must be completed.
    Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Chico Main (East Ave. and Cussick)
605 W. East Avenue Chico, CA 95926
TEL: 530.895.1727 / 800.906.2020
Directions >
Paradise (Inside Cobblestone Court)
6585 Clark Road Suite 340 Paradise, CA 95969
TEL: 530.872.3519
Directions >