Understanding PRK

In PRK, the surface cells of the cornea are removed and the resulting exposed cornea is reshaped with a laser (called an excimer) within seconds.

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A clear contact lens is then placed on the eye to create a “bandage effect” while the surface cells regrow in 4 to 5 days.

Although the results of PRK are excellent, and comparable to SMILE and LASIK, patients do experience mild to moderate discomfort as the surface cells heal in the days following surgery. Because of this, PRK is usually reserved as the treatment of choice only for specific reasons (eg. unique eye shape, thin corneas).

Side effects of PRK include mild to moderate discomfort, dry eyes, and foreign body sensation. Patients may experience night time glare or halo for a several days, which resolves with normal healing. Complications of PRK are extremely rare and are ALL treatable. These include infection, swelling or haze to the cornea from healing.

Ideal candidates for PRK are:

  • Under 45
  • Myopia (near-sightedness) up to -9.0D
  • Astigmatism up to 5.0D
  • Corneas too thin for SMILE or LASIK
  • “Soft” corneas at risk for ectasia
Surgery length
  • 15 minutes
  • Local with oral sedation
Side effects
  • Discomfort
  • Irritation
  • Dry eyes
  • Night glare
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Haze
  • Discomfort 3‑4 days
  • Vision 1‑4 weeks
  • Exercise 5‑7 days
  • Make up 7‑14 days
Final Visual Outcome
  • 4‑12 weeks
  • Dry eyes typically resolve in 4‑8 weeks
See our other procedures