Austin PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

PRK - photorefractive keratectomy

PRK: PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was the first corneal procedure upon which FDA approval was given for the first generation of FDA approved excimer lasers. PRK involves complete removal of the corneal epithelium (surface layer of the cornea) followed by application of the excimer laser to the exposed corneal surface. The epithelium regenerates over a period of 3-5 days. The visual outcomes between LASIK and PRK are virtually equivalent. LASIK is preferred however due to the quicker recovery.

The Advantage of PRK compared with iLASIK is that there is no flap and therefore no flap complications.

The Disadvantages of PRK compared with iLASIK:

  1. Slow recovery of vision. PRK patients may not have legal driving vision for one week after the procedure,
  2. retreatments also have a slower recovery process than iLASIK retreatments,
  3. rare chance of corneal scarring,
  4. mild/moderate irritation lasting 1-2 days.

Differences between PRK and LASIK

Range of correctionPRK
Low to Moderately high
Low to Moderately high
Wound DepthPRK
Superficial (remove epithelium)
20% depth (flap preserves epithelium)
Intraoperative PainPRK
Postoperative PainPRK
Moderate 24-48 hrs.
3 to 6 hrs.
Postoperative MedicationsPRK
3 weeks to several months
1 to 2 weeks
Functional Vision RecoveryPRK
3 to 7 days
24 hours
Visual Results Fully RecognizedPRK
3 weeks to several months
1 to 6 weeks
Return to WorkPRK
2 to 3 days
1 to 2 days
Risk of ComplicationsPRK
Risk of ScarringPRK
1 to 2%
Dry Eye SensitivePRK
1 to 4 weeks
Could last up to 12 months or more
Candidates with Thin Corneas or Wide PupilsPRK
Often good candidates
Candidacy depends on amount of correction needed

Our Community

The Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute

The Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute

The Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute, recently created at the Dell Medical School, is poised to become a leading-edge center for training future ophthalmologists and providing patients with the best medical and surgical eye care possible.

Contact Austin Eye Today

Austin Eye

11901 Jollyville Road
Austin, TX 78759

Phone: (512) 250-2020
Fax: (512) 250-2612

Click here to fly-through our Austin Eye locations

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday 8am – 6pm
Friday 8am – Noon
Saturday/Sunday Closed

Northwest Office

Westlake Office

Westlake Office

CLICK HERE to "FLY-through" our Austin Eye locations.