PRK

PRK was the first vision correction surgery to gain FDA approval in 1995. Since then, millions of people around the world see more clearly thanks to PRK. At Southern Eye Group, our eye surgeons use PRK to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, helping our patients in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and throughout the Gulf Coast reduce or even eliminate their need for eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Southern Eye Group

What is PRK?

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a form of outpatient vision correction surgery during which a laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, many patients can reduce or even eliminate their use of glasses or contacts following PRK.

What Does PRK Treat?

PRK treats refractive errors, which are irregularities in the way the cornea bends (refracts) light onto the retina. Refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness): In the myopic eye, the cornea is overly steep or the eye is longer than normal. This causes light to refract onto the front of the retina and makes images in the distance appear blurry.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness): With hyperopia, the cornea is flatter or the eye is shorter than normal. Because of this, light refracts behind the retina and near images appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism: In an eye with astigmatism, the cornea is irregular in shape. This can cause light to refract unevenly onto the retina, potentially affecting vision at all ranges.

Who is a Candidate for PRK?

PRK is a great alternative for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK because they have thin corneas or dry eyes. Ideal candidates for PRK:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have a stable vision prescription with no changes for at least one year
  • Have healthy eyes
  • Have realistic expectations for laser refractive surgery outcomes

When most people think of vision correction surgery, they automatically think of LASIK. During LASIK, an ophthalmologist creates a corneal flap before using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors. PRK is slightly different in that, while PRK also involves reshaping the cornea, the eye surgeon removes the outermost layer of the cornea (the epithelium) using an alcohol solution before reshaping with an excimer laser.

Patients who have thin corneas may not be good candidates for LASIK, but may still benefit from vision correction through PRK. PRK has a longer recovery time than LASIK, but research shows that both procedures have comparable patient satisfaction rates.3

Contact Southern Eye Group

At Southern Eye Group, we have helped countless patients in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and throughout the Gulf Coast region achieve their dream of clearer vision. To learn more about PRK and find out whether you may be a candidate for laser vision correction surgery, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Southern Eye Group


1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/photorefractive-keratectomy-prk. Accessed June 1, 2022.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Eye Surgery. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/8596-photorefractive-keratectomy-prk-eye-surgery. Accessed June 1, 2022
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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5665689/. Accessed June 1, 2022.
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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885542/. Accessed June 1, 2022.