The Alternative to LASIK: PRK

Posted By on Aug 29, 2018 in LASIK Surgery | 0 comments

Sometimes the corneal tissue has a thinness that makes LASIK laser eye surgery not the best option. At Houston LASIK, clinic other surgeries then become available that may address the condition. PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy eye surgery. Instead of a corneal flap created, the surface layer of corneal cells becomes removed. It takes a precision laser to perform the surgery. It involves reshaping the cornea.

Dry eyes

In some patients, despite the best precautions, a condition called dry eyes develops. Dry eyes happen when the eyes cannot produce adequate tears. Tears lubricate and clean the eyes regularly. Without enough lubrication, the eyes will feel dry and scratchy. Unpredictably sometimes after a LASIK surgery, some patients develop the condition. If a patient has the dry eyes condition before the LASIK surgery, the recommendation has been to switch to PRK.

Where PRK surgery becomes used

PRK has been highly successful in treating nearsightedness known as myopia. Having a consultation with the ophthalmologist will determine the thickness of the cornea, what the refraction error is, map the cornea and check eye pressure. The information tells the ophthalmologist the state of health the eye is in, what if any disease processes a patient has, and which surgical procedure can help. A laser does the surgery and reshapes the cornea, so light rays concentrate correctly on the retinal tissues. Besides myopia, the technique works for hyperopia, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

During the PRK surgery

Like LASIK in Houston, the PRK surgery uses laser technology. Just like LASIK, it is outpatient surgery. The operation takes 15 to 30 minutes. It begins with the numbing of the eyes with eye drops. To keep blinking at a minimum, the eye surgeon will put an eyelid holder. An ablation will occur which in laymen’s terms means a unique blade or laser will remove the outer layer of the cells on the cornea. With lasers preprogrammed with the individual measurements of the patient’s eyes, it increases the likelihood of a good outcome. Lasers click while performing otherwise the surgery has little sound.

After PRK surgery

When done a bandage will go on the eye to protect it while it heals. Most patients have slight eye pain for two to three days after the surgery. For a couple of days, the regular routine gets put on hold. For as long as a week no strenuous activity need happen. The ophthalmologist prescribes pain medication and special eye drops.  Sunglasses help protect the healing incision from the sun till full recovery occurs.

Follow up

It may take several weeks for surgery symptoms to subside. Patients report glare and halos moving across vision at night.  Most people more than 90 percent who have had the surgery report improved visual acuity of 20/40 or better. The ophthalmologist will do follow up visits for several months.


Both LASIK and PRK classify as laser eye surgeries. The procedures have similar outcomes and results. Of the two PRK takes longer to recover from and has a bit more pain. The lasting effects become well worth the improved vision. Only a chat with ophthalmologists at Houston LASIK starts the process for the better eyesight.

Houston Lasik leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston Lasik, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.


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