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What is PRK?

Last updated 6 years ago

PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratotomy, a type of laser eye surgery which can be used to correct mild to moderate near- and farsightedness as well as some types of astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK eye surgery and may be more advantageous for people who are not good candidates for LASIK.

The Procedure

PRK has been in common use in the United States for over fifteen years. The procedure can be performed with the exact same excimer laser and equipment used for LASIK surgery. During the procedure, an eight or nine millimeter-sized portion of the epithelium, the top layer of the cornea, is removed to allow the laser to reach and reshape the cornea. Post-treatment, you will receive a contact lens to wear, which acts as a bandage for your cornea until the epithelium heals and covers the bare area created during surgery.


PRK differs from LASIK in that it is a “flapless” surgery. LASIK requires the use of either a blade or a laser to create a flap of tissue before the cornea can be reshaped via laser. This flap is used to cover the treatment site after laser reshaping.  Because PRK creates no flap, laser ablation takes place on the outer surface of the cornea. Additionally, PRK is ideal for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK due to unusual curvature of the cornea, thin corneal surfaces, or dry eyes or for candidates who are in professions that have likely eye trauma, such as boxing

Side Effects and Results

Due to the use of a contact lens to bandage the cornea while it heals, vision can appear blurry for a few days after surgery. Common side effects of PRK surgery include mild pain or scratchiness of the eyes and glare or halos, especially at night. Many of these side effects are temporary, and over-the-counter pain relief medication can be coupled with eye drops to minimize post-operative discomfort.

Clear Advantage of Portsmouth offers state-of-the-art laser surgery with personalized, professional treatment. Call (603) 379-6817 to schedule an appointment or consultation.


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