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PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy, Laser Vision Correction) near Chicago, IL

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What is PRK?

The ophthalmology team at Kirk Eye Center understands the discouragement men and women can suffer who aren't suitable candidates for LASIK. However, we are pleased to provide multiple variations of laser eye surgery, including PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). PRK was the pioneering method of laser vision surgery and has granted perfect vision or better to millions of men and women worldwide. It was used safely and reliably for around ten years until the invention of the LASIK method. We still frequently perform PRK procedures to resolve nearsightedness and farsightedness, especially for those who lack sufficient corneal tissue to receive LASIK. Contact our location in River Forest or Gurnee, IL for your comprehensive PRK assessment.

What are the benefits of PRK?

Here at Kirk Eye Center, we offer PRK for our patients looking to achieve a number of benefits, including:

  • Alternative for our patients who do not qualify for LASIK
  • Safer option if you are active or involved in high-impact activities
  • Ideal over LASIK if you have thinner corneal tissue
  • Ability to assist vision for high-level prescriptions, both near- and far-sighted

Am I a Candidate for PRK?

Primarily, PRK is offered to adults at least 18 years of age who want to receive laser vision surgery but don't have thick enough corneal tissue for LASIK. PRK could also be a more practical solution for patients with specific eye diseases. In addition, it can be a safer technique for those who have a higher potential for trauma to the eye as a result of hazardous job conditions or taking part in high-activity recreation. Laser vision correction surgery recipients must have had an unchanging lens prescription for at least a year.

How Does PRK Work?

Usually, PRK procedures take about 15 minutes per eye. Prior to getting started, our team will completely numb the eye with special eye drops to provide a pain-free procedure. Once the eye is numb, a speculum device will be situated over the eye to keep it from moving. A PRK procedure is very much like LASIK for the first steps. The main difference with PRK is that no corneal flap is made. Instead, the thinnest, outermost layer (the epithelium) of the eye is completely taken off and disposed of so we can correct the curve of the cornea beneath. Afterward, patients are given a protective bandage contact lens to keep the eye safe while it heals.

What Results Can I Expect from PRK?

Following PRK, we advise patients to come back to Kirk Eye Center for 2 – 3 appointments so that your doctor can keep track of the healing progress, look for any unforeseen reactions, and help take care of any discomfort. In comparison to the LASIK technique, PRK entails a lengthier healing period and that may include photophobia (light sensitivity), foreign body sensations in the eye, and severe dry eye. Many people need to wear their specialized healing contacts for about three weeks. However, once the eyes have thoroughly recovered, the acuity improvements will be as good as or better than those of LASIK. Typically, patients are able to get back to their jobs and driving within 7 – 10 days and enjoy their ultimate vision improvement in about 1 – 3 months.


What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?

While PRK uses only one laser, LASIK uses two separate lasers, which allows it to create a flap in the cornea. Additionally, LASIK generally has a shorter recovery time associated with the procedure. However, PRK tends to work better for patients with thin corneas, large pupils, or astigmatism, as well as those involved in contact sports.

How long do the results from PRK last?

Results from PRK are considered permanent. Once the final results of the procedure have been achieved — usually about 3 – 6 months after the operation — they will not begin to fade. However, this does not protect them from the natural aging of the eyes, which can impact your vision as you get older.

Is PRK cheaper than LASIK?

Due to PRK's use of a single laser that does not create a flap within the cornea, it is able to be completed faster than LASIK. This often makes it less expensive than LASIK by several hundred dollars per eye.

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Dependable Vision Correction

As the first approach to laser vision correction, PRK has been enabling men and women to gain improved vision for over two decades. For individuals who were previously informed they weren't good candidates for LASIK, PRK could be the best answer. Reach out to Kirk Eye Center to arrange a consultation so our team can find out whether PRK is the most effective option for you.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.