PRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy, was actually invented before LASIK and was the first procedure performed using the excimer laser. Just like LASIK, PRK corrects vision by reshaping the cornea.
The Difference between PRK and LASIK
In LASIK a corneal flap is created and the laser is applied to the inner tissue of the cornea. With PRK, there is no corneal flap. Instead, the epithelium (or outer skin of the cornea) is removed and a laser is applied to the surface of the cornea. After the excimer laser reshapes the surface (as in LASIK), the epithelium grows back over the treated area, usually within three to seven days. Functional vision typically returns within the first week.
At Horizon Eye Specialists, PRK is performed with the same highly sophisticated Custom Wavefront technology we use to perform iLASIK. This complete package of fully integrated technologies includes:
- VISX Wavescan WaveFront™ Diagnostics
- VISX Star S4 Iris Registration™ Excimer Laser
- VISX Advanced CustomVue™ Treatment
Since no corneal flap is created, PRK may be more suited for patients with:
- thin corneas
- dry eyes
- corneal scarring or other abnormalities
- past refractive surgery
- lifestyles with increased risk for eye injury (i.e. martial arts)
PRK and iLASIK have the same end result, but recovery from PRK is generally longer. And while iLASIK patients notice dramatically improved vision almost immediately after their procedure, PRK patients may not experience functional vision for approximately one week.