PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy) was approved by the FDA in 1995, before LASIK surgery. PRK works in generally the same way as LASIK, by reshaping the cornea of the eye so that it works better at focusing incoming light. PRK's advantage is that it can be used for patients whose cornea may be too thin to make the corneal "flap" one receives with LASIK. It can also be used when a patient's pupil may be too large for LASIK. Thousands of people have successfully undergone PRK.
For PRK, the same "cool" computer-controlled excimer laser beam used to perform LASIK is used for the painless reshaping of the cornea. This beam is so precise that it can remove 39 millionths of an inch of tissue at a time. The PRK procedure takes just a few minutes. After undergoing PRK, most patients can return to the majority of their normal daily routines in one to three days.
Like LASIK, PRK can be used for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The improvement in vision achieved after PRK is gradual and can take longer than that obtained with LASIK, but PRK is preferred by many surgeons for particular cases. Talk to your surgeon at King LASIK about the PRK option.