PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy)


If you are considering laser eye surgery, PRK (also referred to as ASA) is an excellent alternative to LASIK or SMILE. This procedure is a particularly good option for people who have been told that they would not be good candidates for LASIK, or for people whose lifestyles may have precluded them from having LASIK.

Patients who are often recommended for PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) are those who:

  • Have a cornea that is thinner than what is advised for LASIK
  • Have dry eyes or are prone to dryness
  • Participate in high contact sports (such as MMA fighting) and more likely to take a hit to the eyes

Here is how PRK works:

  1. Numbing drops applied
  2. Superficial layer scraping
  3. Laser sculpting
  4. Corneal surface heals; in myopes the cornea is made flatter.


A person who had PRK can expect to see every bit as well as a LASIK patient over time. The initial healing period is much slower. Patients are often recommended to have one eye done at a time. The doctor may recommend waiting anywhere between a week to a month between eyes. Having one eye done at a time will help patients to remain functional throughout healing. The patient who has one eye done at a time will need to make arrangements to have their glasses or adjusted, or to wear a contact lens in between procedures.

In most cases a PRK patient will wear a contact lens during the first 5-8 days of healing. In most cases, the patient will not need to touch the lens at all. The doctor will handle putting the lens in and taking the lens out.

BENEFITS OF This Procedure

  1. Preserves the Structural Integrity of the Cornea: In an Advanced Surface Treatment, the laser correction is performed on the surface of the cornea rather than a deeper layer.
  2. Puts Patients at less risk of Corneal Complications: Patients are at less risk of experiencing corneal injuries than with LASIK. Blunt trauma to the eye can cause a dislodged flap in some cases even years after the LASIK procedure.
  3. Better for Patients with Thin Corneas: Working on the surface of the cornea also allows treatment of patients whose corneas are too thin for creation of a LASIK flap and removal of tissue by the excimer laser.
  4. Less Likely to Induce or Worsen Dry Eye: Advanced Surface Ablation is gentler on corneal nerves and thus diminishes the possibility of inducing or worsening dry eye syndrome.

Want to learn more? The best way to find out what you would be a candidate for is have a free consultation. Schedule a free consultation today!

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