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prk, photorefractive keratectomy Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy has demonstrated over a long period of time that it is a safe, effective and predictable method of Laser Vision Correction.

The PRK procedure is similar to that of LASIK in the way the laser is applied to the eye. The main difference is that there is no flap created by the surgeon using a microkeratome. Instead, the laser is used to produce your optical correction by reshaping the outermost surface of the cornea, rather than the tissue beneath a flap, as in LASIK. This requires the removal of a thin layer of the corneal epithelium, which may produce varying degrees of temporary discomfort for up to a few days after your treatment. In general PRK provides a slower visual recovery than LASIK.

The surgeon will often prescribe additional medications and a thin, soft bandage contact lens to make you more comfortable for a few days after your treatment. While PRK is only occasionally recommended, it has a distinct place for some patients. PRK is recommended for those patients: A) whose corneas are too thin to have LASIK safely, B) whose corneas display evidence of scarring from infection or trauma, or C) who are active or reserve military personnel.


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updated 10/8/08