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3-D Eye Online - PRK

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

PRK was once the most common refractive surgery procedure before LASIK was developed as a more popular alternative. Both PRK and LASIK are grouped under the umbrella "laser eye surgery," but each is a little different when it comes to advantages and disadvantages.

LASIK patients have less discomfort and obtain good vision more quickly — whereas, improvement with PRK is gradual and takes days, weeks or even months to achieve maximum results. In circumstances such as when patients have thin corneas or other LASIK disqualifying factors, Dr. Linda Blakely will recommend the PRK type of refractive surgery.

PRK performs the laser ablation at the outer surface of the cornea. PRK does not involve a precision blade, microtome, or cutting laser as used in LASIK, but there may be more discomfort and slower visual recovery. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not carry the risk of dislocated corneal flaps which may occur (especially with trauma) after LASIK. For this reason, patients with physically demanding lifestyles, such as military personnel or athletes, most often choose to have PRK. And because PRK does not create a permanent flap in the deeper corneal layers, the cornea's structural integrity is less altered by PRK.