Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

at Alliance Vision Institute

Alliance Vision Institute is here to provide you the top-quality care you deserve, with cutting-edge technology and years of experience bringing patients personalized surgeries and outcomes. We’re proud to offer a wide range of vision solutions including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a corrective laser surgery and an exceptional alternative to LASIK for many of our patients.

What is PRK?

PRK surgery is a procedure used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism in eyes. These conditions are caused by the front of your eye, the cornea, being the wrong shape — that’s why during PRK, your surgeon painlessly reshapes the top layer of your eye’s cornea using a laser. PRK is a proven, safe surgery that may be a better choice than LASIK for certain patients. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, many patients are able to greatly reduce their need for eyeglasses or contact lenses after PRK surgery. Some patients can do without corrective lenses Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source What is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)? American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source altogether.

Who is Best Suited for PRK?

PRK is an excellent vision correction option for many people, just like LASIK. However, one procedure or the other may be a better choice for patients with certain lifestyles or eye conditions. If you’re very physically active, have thin corneas, or have certain eye conditions like dry eye, PRK may be preferable. We’ll go over your specific case and what we recommend to you during a free consultation.

In general, a good candidate for PRK:

  • Is over the age of 18
  • Is in good overall health
  • Does not have uncontrolled diabetes
  • Has healthy eyes, with no history of glaucoma or other conditions
  • Has a stable vision prescription, with no changes in the last year
  • Has realistic expectations about what can be achieved with Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Eye Surgery Cleveland Clinic Go to Source vision correction surgery


LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is often the first vision correction surgery procedure our patients ask about, but PRK can be the better choice for some patients and has comparable patient satisfaction rates and Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source A Comparison of Visual Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction Between Photorefractive Keratectomy and Femtosecond Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis Hashmani N, Hashmani S, Ramesh P, et al Go to Source visual outcomes.

Both LASIK and PRK involve reshaping the patient’s cornea to improve refractive errors like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The difference between these procedures lies in the way the cornea is accessed. For LASIK, a small flap is made in the cornea before the eye surgeon reshapes it. To perform PRK, the surgeon applies an alcohol solution to dissolve the entire top layer (epithelium) of the cornea before reshaping.

There are distinct advantages and trade-offs to the way the cornea is accessed during PRK. Because no corneal flap is created, PRK can be a better option for patients who have thin corneas or whose corneal flap may dislodge due to an active lifestyle. However, because the entire corneal surface is removed during PRK, this procedure does have a longer recovery time than LASIK surgery, and patients have to wait slightly longer to realize the full extent of their vision correction as the cornea heals.

Interested in learning more? Compare vision correction procedures: LASIK vs PRK vs EVO ICL™.

Meet Your PRK Surgeon

Our experienced, board-certified PRK surgeon, Dr. Taylor Strange, has performed thousands of successful eye surgeries in his career. He earned a near-perfect GPA in medical school and now brings those same lofty standards to every one of his patients. Dr. Strange is a compassionate ophthalmologist who is committed to personalizing his care and helping patients stay active and comfortable in their surgical process. He won’t ever overpromise, so you can trust you’re getting the best advice for your vision.

close up of a brown eye

What to Expect with PRK

Preparing for PRK: Your Consultation

Any vision correction surgery, including PRK, begins with a free consultation. Our staff will discuss your vision goals with you and choose the best course of action to achieve your ideal vision. During this consultation, you’ll learn about the cutting-edge technology we use to provide you with optimal results, and the dedicated surgical team that will ensure you’re taken care of every step of the way.

Once you and your eye doctor have decided upon the right vision correction treatment plan for your needs and lifestyle, your procedure will be scheduled. We will give you pre-operative instructions at that time, as well as clear expectations for the recovery period. We will also schedule follow-up appointments so that your ophthalmologist can monitor your healing.

The PRK Procedure

PRK is an outpatient procedure that takes only about 15 minutes, but you can expect to be at our eye care center for a few hours on the day of your vision correction surgery. Before surgery, we will numb your eyes with anesthetic eye drops, so there should be no discomfort — only slight pressure. To begin the PRK procedure, the surgeon uses an alcohol solution to remove the outer layer of corneal tissue (epithelium). Next, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to improve refractive errors.

Once your PRK surgery is complete, you will be fitted with a bandage contact lens or lenses, which will allow the cells of your cornea to heal and regenerate. Following brief monitoring at our eye center, you will be ready to be driven home, and you should plan to relax or nap afterwards.

PRK Recovery and Follow-Up

After PRK surgery, you may experience dry eye, mild discomfort, itching, or burning as your eyes heal. Over-the-counter medications and lubricating eye drops will help with these side effects. You will need to wear bandage contact lenses for the first 3-5 days of the healing process. Do your best not to rub or touch your eyes!

Our patients typically return to work 2-3 days after their PRK procedure, and you will be able to get back to most of your daily activities within a week. Your ophthalmologist will let you know when you can resume more strenuous activities like exercising during a follow-up appointment.

What Will My Vision Be Like After PRK?

Your vision will likely be a little blurry just after PRK surgery, but this is normal and will improve in the next 3-5 days. It may take several weeks after laser eye surgery to achieve your optimal vision, at which point many patients will not need to use reading glasses or contacts once their eyes have fully healed.

PRK is a safe, effective, and potentially life-changing procedure, but it’s important to understand that it does not guarantee you’ll never need glasses. It also doesn’t correct against future causes of vision loss like the age-related farsightedness known as presbyopia.

At Alliance Vision Institute, we use our expertise to determine the ideal vision solution for our patients, and you can rest easy knowing we would only recommend PRK or any other procedure if we’re certain it is the best option — and if we recommend it, an expert surgical team with your best interests in mind will use leading laser technology to deliver the clearest vision possible. Learn more with a free consult!

Why Choose Alliance Vision Institute for PRK?

When we recommend PRK for a patient at Alliance Vision Institute, you can trust that we’re drawing on both our experience with thousands of surgeries, and our deep knowledge of your unique case, to deliver the best possible vision for you. PRK can help you see better, potentially without the need for eyeglasses, and there’s no one better to provide those results — and a fully personalized procedure — than our highly experienced and endlessly dedicated Dr. Strange. Learn more about PRK by scheduling a consultation with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions About PRK

Is PRK permanent?

PRK is a safe, effective, and potentially life-changing laser vision correction procedure, but it’s important to understand that it does not guarantee you’ll never need glasses. It also doesn’t correct against future causes of vision loss like the age-related farsightedness (presbyopia) or cataracts. At Alliance Vision Institute, it is our goal to be your eye health partners for life: if your vision needs change in the future, we can help.

Is PRK painful?

Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops before your PRK surgery, so you should feel nothing more than slight pressure during the procedure. You may feel uncomfortable during the recovery period, but patients rarely report pain at any point during their PRK experience with us.

What are the risks of PRK?

PRK has helped millions of people see more clearly since it was the first laser vision correction procedure to gain FDA approval in 1995, and is widely considered to be both safe and effective.
There are risks and side effects associated with any surgical procedure. PRK risks may include:

  • Discomfort
  • Infection
  • Decline in night vision
  • Glares or halos at night
  • Cloudy vision
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eye
  • Corneal haze
  • Over- or undercorrection of Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Main Complications of Photorefractive Keratectomy and their Management Spadea L, Giovannetti F Go to Source refractive errors

Learn more about how you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses and contacts with PRK. Schedule your free consultation!

Contact Us

Are You a Candidate for Vision Correction?

1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?. Available: Accessed November 28, 2023.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Eye Surgery. Available: Accessed November 28, 2023.
3 Hashmani N, Hashmani S, Ramesh P, et al. A Comparison of Visual Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction Between Photorefractive Keratectomy and Femtosecond Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. Cureus. 2017;9(9):e1641. Published 2017 Sep 1. doi:10.7759/cureus.1641. Available: Accessed November 28, 2023.
4 Spadea L, Giovannetti F. Main Complications of Photorefractive Keratectomy and their Management. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019;13:2305-2315. Published 2019 Nov 27. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S233125. Available: Accessed November 28, 2023.

The doctors at Alliance Vision Institute have reviewed and approved this content.

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