PRK Laser Vision Correction Surgery in San Antonio, Texas
At Parkhurst NuVision, we believe that everyone deserves the freedom and flexibility of clear vision, and we know that LASIK isn’t right for everybody. That’s why we offer a wide range of vision correction procedures—and we take the time to talk with you about your goals, your eye health, and your lifestyle in order to figure out what type of procedure will be best for you. If your goal is to get out of glasses, but you aren’t a candidate for LASIK, PRK could be the solution for you, and it is important to know that PRK is one of several available options for those who aren’t eligible for LASIK.
What is PRK?
PRK, which stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy, is a laser vision correction surgery that was FDA approved in 1995 (even before LASIK!) and has helped millions of people get their vision fixed. PRK is similar to LASIK, and studies show that it offers equivalent vision results, has a similarly high patient satisfaction rate, but also a much different recovery process that is important to know about ahead of time.
PRK can treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. While the long-term vision results with PRK are excellent, it is typically a longer and sometimes difficult recovery process for many patients. Most patients require prescription pain medication to get through the first several days, and the final vision result may not come in for up to 3-6 months. For this reason, PRK is helpful for some, but also one of the less common procedures we recommend to help patients get out of glasses and contacts. If you haven’t heard about PRK alternatives, please check out our SMILE-LASIK page and our Visian ICL page to learn more. These are procedures that produce LASIK-like outcomes, with the similar benefit of a quick recovery, LASIK-like experience.
PRK vs LASIK: What is the Difference and Which is Right for Me?
While people often compare them to each other, PRK and LASIK are on the same team. They are each a safe and effective procedure to improve vision by using a precise laser to reshape the cornea. One is not inherently better than the other, but they each offer benefits and a different recovery process depending on your vision goals, unique eye anatomy, and what types of activities you use your eyes for on a daily basis.
The primary difference between PRK and LASIK is in the first step of the surgical procedure. During a LASIK procedure, the surgeon will use a special laser to prepare the cornea before a second laser removes the imperfections in the eye that cause blurry vision. In PRK, the surgeon removes those imperfections in a different way.
We have found that many patients have been told that PRK is the only other laser eye surgery besides LASIK. Since we offer the widest range of surgical procedures anywhere in the region, we find this is often not the case. Many people who have been told that the longer-recovery PRK procedure is their only option are ecstatic to hear they can have another all-laser solution with the added benefit of rapid healing.
PRK: What to Expect
Before Surgery — Learning and Planning
People typically learn about PRK when they come in for a LASIK consultation. People who are not candidates for LASIK because of the shape or thickness of their corneas may find out that they are better suited for PRK, SMILE-LASIK, or Visian ICL. There are also a few niche hobbies and professions, such as high contact sports or certain military positions, in which one of the many LASIK alternatives is the preferred option.
If PRK or one of the other modern vision correction procedures is right for you, your surgeon will create a customized treatment plan, and our team will give you detailed pre-surgical info.
During Surgery — The Day Your Vision is Fixed!
We understand that patients feel nervous on the day of surgery, even as they are eagerly looking forward to clear vision. Our team will be here to answer your questions and make sure you have everything you need on the day of your PRK surgery.
Before the actual PRK procedure begins, we will administer anesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes and ensure you’re comfortable. We gently hold your eyelashes out of the way to help you keep your eyes open when you need to during the laser treatment. The surgeon will prepare the cornea. Then a highly accurate laser is used to remove the imperfections from the cornea that cause your blurry vision. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon will apply a special contact lens to protect the eye while it heals. That’s it! The procedure only takes a matter of seconds.
After Surgery — Recovery and Results
Recovery after PRK is typically longer than recovery after LASIK and can take up to a few weeks. You will likely experience discomfort and inflammation in the first few days, for which we provide medications to help get you through. You will keep the temporary contact lens on during recovery and have follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing. Results from PRK are gradual at first, and most patients achieve optimal vision within a few weeks after surgery.
Are You a Candidate for PRK?
Ideal candidates for PRK are:
- 18 or older
- In good overall health
- With a stable glasses or contact lens prescription
PRK Cost in San Antonio
Most of our patients tell us they believe clear vision is priceless. In addition to the freedom and flexibility that PRK laser eye surgery offers, it can also save you money! Wearing glasses and contacts is a temporary solution that you pay for over and over, while PRK can correct your vision permanently—potentially saving you thousands of dollars on glasses and contact lens costs. All of the great payment plans we offer for LASIK are also available for PRK.
Contact Us for PRK in San Antonio
Our team of surgeons are board-certified and highly experienced PRK surgeons. The team at NuVision is here to answer any questions you have about PRK or other vision correction procedures. Contact us to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
Dr. Gregory Parkhurst has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.