August 18, 1999
Web posted at: 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT)
Whom it helps
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is generally used for nearsightedness (up to about -5 diopters), farsightedness (to about 3 diopters) and astigmatism (about 3 or 4 diopters).
How it is done
Using the excimer laser, the surgeon vaporizes the surface of the cornea to a precise depth specified by the computer so that it is reshaped.
"The outcomes are similar for PRK and LASIK," says Hersh. But with PRK, there tends to be more post-op discomfort.
What can go wrong
Complications are similar to those with LASIK. "The
potential risk for infection, while small, is a little higher with PRK,'' says Dr. Kerry Assil, a Santa Monica, California, ophthalmologist who specializes in refractive surgery.
Back to Procedure Main