PRK or photo-refractive keratectomy is a form of laser vision correction surgery which eliminates the need for glasses and contact lenses in most patients, including patients with astigmatism. Similarly to LASIK, it has been performed for over 20 years across the US and the rest of the world, and numerous clinical studies and surveys demonstrated a high rate of satisfaction among patients.
The procedure is very similar to LASIK, but the corneal flap is not created. Instead, the outermost layer of the cornea is surgically removed and the excimer laser reshapes the underlying corneal layers.
Similarly to LASIK, to qualify for PRK the patients must be at least 18 years old and have stable prescription in their glasses or contact lenses for at least 1 year. PRK is usually performed in cases where the cornea does not have adequate thickness to safely perform LASIK. Also, patients with recurrent corneal erosions who do not qualify for LASIK can be treated with PRK. The final visual outcomes and satisfaction rates are very similar to LASIK. Patients with keratoconus or suspected of early keratoconus should not undergo PRK. After a period of time a small portion of patients may regress and may need a mild pair of prescription glasses or laser enhancement.