1. PRK procedure
  2. Overview of PRK
  3. What is PRK?

What is PRK?

Learn all about PRK, a type of laser eye surgery. Find out what it is, what the procedure involves, its benefits and risks, and more.

What is PRK?

Are you wondering what photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) eye surgery is and how it can help you? PRK eye surgery is a type of laser eye surgery that is used to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works by reshaping the cornea, allowing light to be focused more accurately on the retina, thus improving visual acuity.

If you are considering PRK eye surgery, it is important to understand what it is and how it works in order to make an informed decision about this laser eye surgery and ensure the best possible outcome. It is also important to research the potential risks and benefits associated with PRK eye surgery, including any potential problems before undergoing the procedure.

To ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) eye surgery, be sure to consult with your doctor and ask any questions you may have about the procedure and its associated precision, such as recovery time, post-operative care, and long-term results.

The procedure is relatively quick and painless, and has been proven to provide long-lasting results. During the procedure, a highly specialized laser is used to remove a very thin layer of the cornea. This layer is then replaced with a new layer of tissue that is more precisely shaped, allowing light to enter the eye more accurately and improving the patient’s vision.

Benefits of PRK

PRK is a safe and effective way to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, making it a popular choice for vision correction. Unlike other forms of laser eye surgery, PRK does not involve cutting a flap in the cornea and instead uses a laser to reshape the cornea directly.

This makes it a safer option than other types of laser eye surgery. PRK can improve vision by correcting refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It can also be used to improve vision from conditions like cataracts and keratoconus.

Additionally, it can help reduce glare and halos associated with nighttime driving. The benefits of PRK over other forms of laser eye surgery include the fact that there is no risk of flap complications or infection. Because PRK does not involve cutting a flap, the recovery time is much shorter than with other types of laser eye surgery.

Furthermore, PRK can be used on patients with thinner corneas than other forms of surgery can accommodate.

The PRK Procedure

Pre-operative Assessment: Before undergoing PRK, patients need to undergo a pre-operative assessment. During this assessment, the eye doctor will assess the patient’s vision, measure the curvature of the cornea, and discuss any questions or concerns the patient may have.

The Surgery:

During PRK, the eye doctor will use a specialized laser to reshape the cornea. This reshaping changes how light is focused on the retina and improves vision.

The entire procedure takes about 5 minutes per eye and is usually painless.


After PRK, patients may experience some discomfort and blurred vision, but these symptoms should subside in a few days. The doctor may prescribe a topical steroid and an antibiotic to help reduce inflammation. Most patients will be able to see clearly within a few weeks of the surgery.

The Risks of PRK

PRK is generally considered a safe procedure, but there are still risks associated with it.

One of the most common complications is infection, which can cause redness, pain, and light sensitivity. Other potential risks include glare and halos around lights, overcorrection or under-correction of vision, and dry eyes. The most common issues of PRK include dry eyes, light sensitivity, and discomfort or irritation in the eyes. Dry eyes can be caused by the decrease in tear production that usually follows the procedure.

This usually resolves itself within a few months, but in some cases, lubricating eye drops may be needed. Light sensitivity is also normal after PRK, and patients may need to wear sunglasses for several weeks until their eyes adjust. In rare cases, more serious complications can occur after PRK. These include corneal scarring, which can cause vision problems; damage to the iris (colored part of the eye); and retinal detachment. Patients who experience any of these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

What Are the Concerns of PRK?

PRK (photorefractive keratology) is a widely-used treatment for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Like LASIK, it utilizes laser technology to correct vision problems. With an impressive success rate and safety record, PRK remains an attractive option, even for those not suitable for LASIK.

After surgery, patients typically experience mild discomfort or sensitivity to light that usually dissipates within a few days. Furthermore, they might experience blurry vision and an intermittent decrease in their capacity for color perception or detail recognition.

Typically, corneal surface epithelial cells are removed and then regenerate within a few days. Furthermore, dry eye is an often reported result that may last anywhere from weeks to months after the procedure.

Rarely, a thin area of the epithelium may slip off the surface of the cornea on its own and cause some pain. This condition, known as recurrent erosion, occurs in approximately 1 percent of PRK patients.

Rarely, corneal haze may develop after regeneration. This is a fine clouding of the surface that can impair vision; however, this condition is extremely uncommon with modern equipment and medications.

Another potential complication of PRK is over-correction or under-correction, which may necessitate glasses after surgery. If this occurs, we can perform an enhancement procedure to correct your refractive error, which usually takes six months after the initial PRK.

Who Is a Good Candidate for PRK?

PRK is an ideal choice for many people looking to correct their vision and improve their vision quality.

It can be used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It can also be used to treat presbyopia, which occurs when the eyes lose their ability to focus on objects close-up. Generally, people over the age of 18 with a stable prescription are good candidates for PRK. In order to be considered a good candidate for PRK, you must have healthy eyes and no corneal scarring. You should also have no active eye infections or diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts.

Your vision should also be stable, meaning that your prescription has not changed significantly in the past year. If you are taking medication that could affect your vision, it is important to inform your doctor so they can assess whether PRK is a safe option for you. Your doctor may also need to evaluate your tear film, which helps protect and lubricate the surface of your eyes. Finally, it is important to have realistic expectations about the results of PRK. While PRK can help improve your vision quality and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses, it is not a guarantee that you will achieve perfect 20/20 vision.

What is PRK?

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of laser eye surgery that can improve vision in people with certain vision problems.

During this procedure, a laser is used to reshape the cornea, improving how light is focused on the retina. PRK is a safe and effective way to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Unlike other laser eye surgery procedures, such as LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a flap in the cornea. Instead, the doctor will remove the surface layer of the cornea (known as the epithelium) and then use a specialized excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. This can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the severity of the person's vision problem.

Afterwards, a protective contact lens will be placed over the eye. The benefits of PRK include improved vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses, no risk of infection, and no need for sutures or stitches. However, there are also some drawbacks to this procedure, including longer recovery times and greater sensitivity to light and glare. Additionally, PRK is more expensive than other types of laser eye surgery.

Alternatives to PRK

There are several alternatives to PRK, including other types of laser eye surgery and non-surgical treatments, that may be available for people with certain vision problems.


, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a type of laser eye surgery that is commonly used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

LASIK works by reshaping the cornea with a laser in order to improve how light is focused on the retina. Another type of laser eye surgery is LASEK, or laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy. LASEK is similar to LASIK, but the outer layer of the cornea is not cut and lifted like it is with LASIK. Instead, the laser is used to create a thin flap on the cornea that can be lifted and moved aside in order to reshape the cornea.

In addition to laser eye surgery, there are also some non-surgical treatments that can be used to correct vision problems.


, also known as “ortho-k”, is a method of reshaping the cornea with specially designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The lenses are worn overnight while sleeping, and they help to reshape the cornea so that it can focus light properly on the retina.

Vision therapy

is another option for correcting vision problems.

This type of treatment involves using special exercises and activities to help strengthen the visual system and improve how light is focused on the retina.

What is the Recovery Period Like After PRK?

PRK surgery is similar to other refractive surgery procedures like LASIK, but it takes longer to heal due to the removal of your epithelium. Usually, it takes three or four days for this epithelium to regenerate, and your vision may remain blurry until then.

After your PRK surgery, it is essential to follow your doctor's post-op instructions for post-operative care. You should minimize strenuous activities and use the eye drops prescribed by your doctor every hour until your vision improves.

Additionally, avoid any contact sports or activities that could potentially cause an eye injury such as swimming or hot tubbing. Doing so could delay healing time or result in further impairment to your vision.

It is essential that your eyes remain relaxed and unclouded during the first week of recovery from surgery. Sleeping plenty of hours will not only aid in healing, but will also make you more comfortable as you begin to resume normal activities.

While your eye may experience some pain and discomfort after surgery, these issues usually subside with over-the-counter pain medications. If any persist or worsen, contact your doctor promptly for further instructions.

Lara Michocki
Lara Michocki

Award-winning coffee expert. Hipster-friendly food maven. Hardcore internet buff. Total web buff. Certified tv evangelist.

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