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PRK (Photoreactive Keratectomy)

PRK (photoreactive keratectomy) is a procedure in which a laser is used to reshape corneal tissue. PRK eye surgery can be used to treat low-to-moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Sansum Clinic’s laser eye surgeon, Dr. Douglas Katsev, uses a computer-guided excimer laser to reshape the cornea.

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 with PRK Surgery

Before your PRK eye surgery, 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 (outer layer of your cornea). Laser treatment lasts for 10 to 90 seconds. For a few days after the procedure, your vision may seem worse—but should begin to improve in about five days and stabilize in about six 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 three months or longer

Risk of: 

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

Schedule Your Free Laser Eye Surgery Consultation Today

Call (805) 681-8951 or email the Laser Eye Center and let us help you reclaim a life free from glasses and contacts.

Sansum Clinic, Laser Eye Care Center
4151 Foothill Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
(805) 681-8951

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