PRK Specialist

Specialty Ophthalmologists serving Goodland, KS, and Broomfield, Edwards and Englewood, CO

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Photo refractive keratectomy, or PRK, is a minimally invasive procedure with even fewer surgical steps than LASIK®. At Mile High Eye Institute, which has locations in Denver metro community including Castle Rock, Broomfield, Aurora, Littleton as well as our satellites in Goodland, KS and Edwards, CO, board-certified ophthalmologists William Richheimer, MD,  offer PRK for patients interested in permanently improving their vision. Dr. Richheimer is one of the top specialists in Colorado offering PRK surgery. To learn more, call Mile High Eye Institute or schedule an appointment online today.

What is PRK?

Photo refractive keratectomy, or PRK, is a form of laser eye surgery that corrects refractive eye disorders, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. 

Similar to laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), this minimally invasive procedure reshapes the cornea. The primary difference between the two procedures is that LASIK involves creating a small flap in the cornea, while PRK doesn’t.

What can I expect from PRK surgery?

During the PRK procedure, the team at Mile High Eye Institute removes the outer layer of the cornea before using a special computer-controlled laser to carefully remove tiny sections. This process effectively reshapes the cornea, allowing any light passing through to travel directly to the back of the eye for improved visual clarity. 

The entire procedure takes just a few minutes per eye. At the end of the procedure, the team places a thin, clear contact lens into the eye to protect against contamination and infection. The surface layer of your cornea regrows during that time, and the team removes the protective contact about three to five days after the procedure.

Like LASIK, you must have someone drive you home after PRK. Having a trusted friend or relative to monitor you after the procedure also helps prevent complications.

How is PRK different from LASIK surgery?

PRK eliminates the need to create a flap at the beginning of the procedure, which removes a surgical step. However, unlike LASIK, PRK requires that you wear corrective lenses for a few days after the procedure to protect your cornea against damage.

Both procedures are minimally invasive and offer high success rates. Once you heal from surgery, you may not have to wear corrective eyeglasses or contacts at all.

Am I a good candidate for PRK?

You may be a good candidate for PRK if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Do not have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy
  • Have not needed any prescription modifications in the last 12 months
  • Have abnormally large pupils

Many patients choose PRK when their corneas are too thin to get LASIK. During your initial assessment, which includes a complete eye exam and vision test, the team can determine which laser-assisted procedure is right for you.

To find out if PRK is right for you, schedule an eye exam with Mile High Eye Institute. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online to learn more.