Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a laser procedure designed to reshape the cornea. PRK at the Eye Institute in Rapid City is performed directly to the front surface of the eye, and therefore it is sometimes called “surface ablation” or “surface treatment.” Custom laser technologies are now applied in both LASIK and PRK, allowing for more precision with lower risk to night vision.
Anyone who is a candidate for LASIK could potentially have PRK, making PRK an alternative to LASIK for those seeking vision correction surgery. Some of those who cannot have LASIK may be able to undergo PRK as it spares corneal tissue by not making a flap. This may include those with thin or slightly irregular corneas. Often people in high contact professions (military, police, martial arts, etc.) will elect to undergo photorefractive keratectomy because of the lower risks for damage to the corneal flap. The ranges for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are the same as those for LASIK.
The laser treatment that is applied in PRK is the same as LASIK. Therefore, the results between PRK and LASIK are similar. More time is often needed to achieve good vision with photorefractive keratectomy because of the regeneration of the epithelial layer. PRK and LASIK results are similar. Most people achieve 20/20 vision after PRK surgery, and nearly all patients achieve 20/40 visual acuity or better. Vision improves more slowly as the epithelial cells need more time to heal with PRK than with LASIK.
Will I Still Need My Glasses?
It is unlikely that you will need glasses after PRK. The typical person age 18 to 40 will not need prescription glasses at all. After age 40, the natural lens typically starts to lose flexibility, causing the need for reading glasses to see up close. This condition is called presbyopia and it eventually happens to all people. If you are considering LASIK and hope to avoid reading glasses, ask about a procedure called monovision.
What Is The Cost?
Around $2100 per eye. We have different post-operative care packages available and a dry eye combined with the LASIK package. At your free evaluation, we will give you detailed pricing information, so you can choose what fits your needs the best. Financing is available through CareCredit, and monthly payments can be as low as $87.50 per eye a month.
Alternatives to PRK
Not all patients are good candidates. The Eye Institute offers the following procedures as an alternative: