PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy
was invented in the 1980’s and widely practiced worldwide before receiving FDA approval in the US in 1995. PRK cannot correct presbyopia, the age-related loss of flexibility of the eye’s focusing muscles that ultimately cause the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
Like LASIK Laser Vision Correction, PRK uses the laser’s cool ultraviolet light beam. Now the difference between LASIK and PRK begins. In LASIK, a microkeratome is used to gently create a corneal “flap” that is left attached and folded back prior to the laser being applied to the corneal tissue. PRK does not require the creation of a flap. Microscopic amounts of corneal tissue are removed after the eye’s epithelial layer has been removed either with an alcohol-based solution or an amoils brush. PRK may be recommended to retain the integrity of the eye, or for patients with larger pupils or thinner corneas.