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PRK, or PhotoRefractive Keratectomy, is a laser surgery that is used to treat refractive problems in the eye.
Refraction is the way in which your cornea bends the rays of light that enter your eye. It can affect the way images develop in your eye, in turn affecting the way you see things. Corneal damage, thin corneas, and dry eyes can impact the functioning of your cornea, leading to improper refraction.

Your eyes are the mirrors to the world. But it can get extremely challenging looking through a blurry mirror. Age, genetic conditions and eye injuries can affect your vision. But the days of putting up with slowly failing vision are gone. Now, you can undergo the PRK, PhotoRefractive Keratectomy surgery and regain your perfect vision.

Through the PRK laser surgery, you can correct such refraction problems and regain your vision. Conditions PRK can treat include: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.


What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?

While both are very useful laser treatments for eyes there are a few differences.

Compared to PRK, LASIK healing time and visual improvement are faster. However, LASIK may not be right for everyone. In the bladeless LASIK procedure, a femtosecond laser is used to create a flap, and an excimer with a customized anti-glare pattern then completes the procedure. In PRK, a flap is not required.

Due to the quick recovery time, it is common to treat both eyes with LASIK on the same day. Most LASIK surgery Los Angeles patients return to work and normal activities shortly after the procedure.

PRK vs Lasik

LASIK surgery is another favored surgery that is used to treat refractive eye conditions. But comparatively, PRK offers advantages over LASIK for some patients.

In the LASIK surgery, a portion of the cornea is partially-cut using a laser and the flap is opened to perform the corrective surgery. Once the procedure is complete, the corneal flap is closed. In order to do this, the patient’s cornea must be sufficiently thick to support the creation of the flap. This is why LASIK is not recommended to people who have thin corneas.

However, with the PRK, this flap isn’t created. Instead, the epithelial tissue covering the cornea is removed and then the corrective surgery is performed. This epithelium grows back naturally post-surgery, ensuring the safety of your eye. So, even patients with very thin corneas and those with high corrective prescriptions can undergo PRK PhotoRefractive Keratectomy without problem.

Who should get PRK?

Patients above the age of 21 and with moderate to severe refractive conditions can undergo PRK laser surgery. But people who are advised against it are those with conditions like:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Diabetes
  • Skin condition
  • Corneal disease

Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to seek a doctor’s advice before scheduling the treatment.

PRK PhotoRefractive Keratectomy procedure

Before the surgery, your eye health will be tested. Your pupil size, the refractive error, and corneal measurements will be taken. Next, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops and your eyes will be kept open using an eyelid holder.

The epithelium layer will be gently removed. An excimer laser is used to reshape your cornea and correct refractive irregularities. A lens-like bandage is put on your cornea to facilitate healing.

Recovering from the PRK surgery

Post-surgery, you will have light sensitivity. It is advised to not expose your eyes to the sun for 3-4 days. Your eye will feel blurry or cloudy for 2-3 days after surgery. But these symptoms will subside as your cornea heals. You may experience minor eye pain. We can prescribe medication for that.

You will be asked to visit our clinic after a week to remove the bandage. You will be asked to wear sunglasses for the next few weeks. Eye make-up should be avoided for at least 2-3 weeks.


When can I expect to notice improvements in my vision after PRK?

Vision improvement following PRK can vary. Initially, your vision might be blurry, but noticeable improvement usually begins within a few days. Optimal results might take several weeks to months as your eyes heal and adjust to changes.

Are there any potential risks or complications associated with PRK?

PRK is generally safe, but potential risks include infection, glare, halos, dry eyes, and undercorrection or overcorrection. Your eye’s healing response can also affect results. Our ophthalmologists administer thorough tests and evaluate individual suitability to prevent potential complications.

Can PRK correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness?

Yes, PRK is effective in correcting astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. By reshaping the cornea’s curvature, PRK improves vision and reduces dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

How long do the effects of PRK typically last?

The effects of PRK are typically long-lasting. While age-related changes might impact vision over time, the corneal reshaping done during PRK remains stable for many years, often providing lasting visual improvement.

Are there any restrictions or precautions I need to follow after PRK?

Yes, after PRK surgery, it’s important to adhere to specific guidelines to ensure optimal healing:

  • Avoid activities like swimming and strenuous exercise for a specified period.
  • Refrain from rubbing your eyes and wear protective eyewear as directed.
  • Regularly use the prescribed eye drops to promote healing and minimize discomfort.

How does the long-term outcome of PRK compare to LASIK?

In the long term, both PRK and LASIK provide lasting vision correction. PRK involves removing the cornea’s outer layer, leading to a slightly longer recovery. However, it’s a preferred choice for those with thin corneas or concerns about flap complications.

get better vision today

The results from PRK surgery can be nothing short of miraculous. Many patients greatly reduce, or even eliminate completely, the need for corrective vision aids. Contact us today to find out if PRK surgery in Los Angeles is the right treatment option for you.

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