What is PRK?

Eye Doctor Serving Mobile, Alabama and the nearby Gulf Coast Area

PRK candidate - Pensacola ophthalmologistBefore there was LASIK, there was PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). PRK is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This form of vision improvement procedure is a common LASIK alternative. Both forms of refractive surgery work well, but PRK is often recommended when corneal layers are too thin for LASIK.  

PRK removes the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelial layer, with an ablation technique. Then a laser is used to contour the cornea and correct vision impairments. LASIK uses the same laser procedure, but instead of removing the surface layer, a flap is created. If your cornea is too thin for a flap to be formed, then PRK is recommended.

Recovery time for PRK is slightly longer than LASIK, because the entire epithelial layer must grow back. The PRK option opens you up for a higher risk of infection, but also allows for more corneal correction because the whole cornea is accessible.

Final results from PRK can take a couple of weeks. The procedure itself only takes several minutes to complete and you can then recover at home. Vision is usually blurry following PRK, but after a few days you can enjoy your normal activities again. The effects are not as immediate as LASIK, but the outcome is just as effective. You won’t know which surgery is best for you until you meet with Dr. Walton and discuss your specific PRK options.

You may be eligible for PRK if:                

  • You are 18 or older
  • Your eyes are in good condition
  • You've had a consistent prescription for at least 1 year

Please contact Dr. Chris Walton using the form at the right side of the page, or call 251-341-3385 today to schedule your PRK consultation. Dr. Walton serves patients in Mobile, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, and throughout the Gulf Coast Region.