Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an excimer laser to burn away a small amount (about 5 to 30 percent) of the top of the cornea. Instead of cutting a flap into the cornea with a blade, this method preserves the strength of the cornea and avoids the risk of perforation and other flap errors commonly associated with the blade method. During the PRK procedure, the surgeon also has greater control in the location and amount of tissue being removed, allowing patients to enjoy a much more accurate treatment.
The PRK method involves gently sculpting the cornea rather than cutting, allowing your surgeon to treat greater degrees of nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism.
Up to 95 percent of patients with a correction of up to -6.00 diopters achieved vision of 20/40 or better after PRK, with up to 70 percent achieving 20/20.
Before LASIK was available, PRK was the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. LASIK brought about several advantages over PRK, including less discomfort and faster results, but PRK is still preferred for patients with large pupils or thin corneas. The PRK procedure takes less than a minute to complete, and is performed with only anesthetic eye drops.