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PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a vision correction procedure most often performed on those who are not good candidates for LASIK eye surgery. PRK was the first type of refractive surgery and is the predecessor of LASIK surgery. While PRK is not as commonly performed anymore, it is still widely accepted as a safe and effective means of vision correction.

PRK and LASIK: What’s the difference?

PRK and LASIK offer very similar results, although the procedures are indeed different. PRK recovery takes longer, and there is a small increase in the likelihood of infection after PRK.

Unlike during LASIK, PRK does not require the creation a corneal flap. This is why the procedure is recommended over LASIK for those with thin corneas or those who have undergone other eye surgeries in the past.

The procedure

Your Long Island eye surgeon will first start by removing a central area of corneal epithelium. This can be done with an alcohol solution, by a “buffing” method, or with a blunt surgical instrument.

Next, the outer layers of the cornea are treated with an excimer laser, just like during LASIK. The laser is programmed with your individual eye in mind, making sure all necessary adjustments are made.

Once finished, the doctor will place a soft contact lens “bandage” over the eye to protect it while it heals. The bandage can be removed within a week, depending on how well your corneal cells regenerate. The recovery time for PRK is significantly longer than LASIK, but it is still a simple recovery, with little down time.

If you have been told that you are not a candidate for LASIK, but would still like to permanently correct your vision, PRK may be for you. Our doctors here at OCLI are happy to assist you in finding the perfect vision correction method for you. Call OCLI today!

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