A Guide to PRK Laser Eye Surgery & How it Differs from Typical LASIK!

PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy is a refractive surgery for the treatment of astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness) and myopia (near-sightedness). It was the first type of laser-based eye surgery performed for vision correction and a predecessor to the contemporary LASIK.

Recovery time is a bit longer with PRK but is still commonly performed and has various advantages over LASIK. Unlike any other laser eye surgery in Abu Dhabi, it reshapes the cornea through excimer laser by exposing the light directly on the retina for coherent vision.

Primary difference between both procedures is;

  • In LASIK, a hinged and thin flap is developed on the cornea to access the treatment spot
  • With PRK, the entire epithelial (outer) layer of the cornea is removed thus exposing the area whereas no flap is created.

In the end of both surgical procedures, the excimer laser moulds the corneal stromal layer for refractive error correction. A slight variation to the PRK known as LASEK is also available in which the outer/epithelial layer is rather lifted then removed through a surgical instrument called a trephine to preserve it during the surgery and replaces it back on the eye’s surface.

However, vision recovery time with LASEK is slow as compared to PRK which is the reason its popularity diminished over time and don’t be confused with LASEK and laser eye surgery in Abu Dhabi or LASIK as both are entirely different.


The final outcome of PRK can be compared to LASIK but initial recovery is slower. This is due to sluggish restoration of new epithetical cells covering the eye surface. There’s also a risk of eye infection and hazy vision initially after the surgery.

On the contrary, patients undergone the LASIK treatment are less discomfort and even their vision stabilises more quickly. With PRK, improvement in the eyesight takes time where permanent stabilisation can take up-to several weeks.

There’s however, a distinct benefit with the PRK. As the surgery doesn’t develop a corneal flap (containing both deeper stromal and epithelial tissues), underlying thickness of the stroma is available for treatment.

This is highly beneficial for patients with a thin cornea who either aren’t eligible for LASIK or it has already been performed previously therefore candidates have a much thinner residual cornea.

PRK procedure

The surgeon would first remove central area of the outer cornea with an alcoholic solution, a blunt surgical apparatus or “buffing” device. The excimer laser is then directed to reshape the curvature of the corneal surface. It’s a highly computerised and specialised treatment in which laser deliver waves of cool, ultraviolet light which removes even microscopic tissue amounts precisely.


Laser eye surgery in Abu Dhabi, be it PRK or LASIK is performed using modern-day technology which is safe, less time taking and promises far better results as compared to any other.

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