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
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.