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PRK (Photoreactive Keratectomy)

PRK (photoreactive keratectomy) is a procedure in which a laser is used to reshape corneal tissue. PRK can be used to treat low to moderate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

PRK Diagram of Laser Beam

Your surgeon uses a computer-guided excimer laser to reshape the cornea.

PRK Diagram of Area of Cornea Removed

After laser treatment, you will wear a contact lens as a bandage for a few days. This protects the cornea as it heals.

What To Expect

Before treatment, you may be given medication to help you relax. Eye drops numb your eyes. A device is used to keep your eyes open. A small surgical tool or the laser is first used to remove the epithelium. Laser treatment lasts for 10 to 90 seconds. For a few days after the procedure, your vision may seem worse. It should begin to improve in about 5 days and become stable in about 6 months.

What You Should Consider


  • No risk of flap complications
  • Better for patients with thin corneas, previous glaucoma surgery, mild corneal scars, or other cornea problems


  • Mild to moderate pain after surgery
  • Longer vision recovery than LASIK
  • May need to use eye drops for 3 months or longer

Risk of:

  • Corneal scarring or haze
  • Temporary or permanent dry eye
  • Night vision problems, such as halos, glare, or starbursts
  • Undercorrection or overcorrection
  • Loss of best corrected vision


Sansum Clinic, Laser Eye Care Center
29 West Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 681-8951

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