Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the first laser refractive procedure approved by the FDA (in 1995) and can treat myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This procedure uses excimer laser pulses to reshape the cornea so that it can focus light more effectively. In PRK, a small portion of the epithelium (the most superficial layer of the cornea) is removed and the laser is used to reshape the underlying cornea.
Advantages of PRK over LASIK
- A corneal flap does not have to be created during PRK. Therefore, PRK is a slightly easier procedure to perform and there is no risk of a flap complication.
- May be performed in some patients whose corneal shape or thickness does not permit safe performance of LASIK
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