Photorefractive keratectomy, also known as PRK, is LASIK’s predecessor and is still performed today as an alternative. Instead of accessing the corneal tissue by making a flap (a critical step in LASIK surgery), the outer skin of the cornea is removed and the laser directly applied to the cornea’s surface.

Studies have shown the outcomes of PRK and LASIK to be very similar. Vision tends to return to normal more quickly after LASIK, but around the six month mark, the results are comparable. PRK is the preferred procedure for patients with thin corneas.