PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) has been performed since 1986. Prior to LASIK, PRK was the most commonly performed Laser vision correction procedure. PRK differs from LASIK, as no flap is created during the procedure. PRK may be more suitable for patients with thin-corneas, corneal issues, dry eye and large pupils. For PRK laser correction procedure, no scalpels are used and no incisions are made.
To accomplish the reshaping of the eye, the surgeon first removes the protective surface (epithelium) from the cornea. The epithelium regenerates itself, typically, in three to five days. Next, your surgeon will proceed by applying computer controlled pulses of laser lights to reshape the curvature of the eye, all while the deeper cell layers remain unaffected. Immediately following the procedure, a bandage contact lens is placed on the cornea for protection.
Since only a thin layer, about as slender as a human hair is removed, the cornea maintains most of its original strength.