PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

Serving Patients in Edmonton, Alberta

Are you frustrated with your daily dependence on prescription eyewear? Have you been diagnosed with myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism but been told that you are not an appropriate LASIK candidate due to your thin corneas? If so, you might benefit from undergoing PRK eye surgery at Eye Q Premium Laser.

What is PRK?

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is an alternative form of laser vision correction surgery. Similar to LASIK surgery, PRK involves the use of an excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea, thereby correcting the patient’s refractive error and improving his or her vision. Although PRK is actually the precursor to LASIK, it is still an effective vision correction treatment option for patients with thinner corneas or other characteristics that disqualify them from having LASIK surgery.


In lower degrees of myopia, the vision correction outcomes achieved with PRK are the same as those accomplished with laser eye surgery, or LASIK. The main difference between LASIK and PRK is the way in which the eye surgeon gains access to the underlying layers of corneal tissue that he reshapes during the vision correction procedure.

With LASIK, or laser vision correction surgery, a thin flap is created in the surface of the cornea with the use of a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. With PRK, however, your laser eye surgeon surgically removes the top layer of the cornea, instead of creating a flap in it, in order to access the underlying corneal tissue. This is the reason PRK is often a suitable treatment option for patients with corneas that are too thin to withstand flap creation.

Because it takes the body a few days to regenerate new epithelial cells to coat the surface of the eye, the initial recovery period following PRK usually takes longer than with LASIK.

Am I Suitable PRK Candidate?

The only way to determine with certainty if you are a suitable candidate for PRK or another vision correction procedure is to schedule an assessment with one of the Eye Q Premium Laser Premium optometrists. In general, appropriate candidates for PRK include patients who:

  • Have sound eye health in general
  • Have a fixed vision prescription that has not fluctuated in at least a year
  • Are at least 19 years old
  • Do not have the tendency to develop keloids (excessive scar tissue)
  • Are not suffering from any medical issues which would impede the healing process
  • Are not currently taking certain medications such as steroids or Accutane
  • Are not currently pregnant or nursing

When Health Canada first approved PRK to correct vision, there was a restricted scope of eligibility for the procedure. Appropriate PRK candidates only included individuals with mild to moderate myopia. Now, however, most patients seeking to correct a refractive error are suitable PRK candidates, thanks to advancements in PRK techniques, as well as in other advanced surface ablation (ASA) procedures. For certain individuals, PRK is an outstanding alternative to LASIK surgery.

Forgo Your Everyday Dependence on Prescription Eyewear

If you are frustrated with having to rely on contact lenses or prescription glasses to see clearly but are not a suitable LASIK candidate, you may have other options. The Edmonton laser vision correction surgeons at Eye Q Premium Laser offer a range of treatment options to improve your vision, including PRK. With PRK, you may be able to forgo your everyday dependence on prescription eyewear.

To schedule a complimentary assessment with an Eye Q optometrist to determine whether you could benefit from PRK treatment, contact Eye Q Premium Laser by calling 780-429-2015 today.