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PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK and “Soft Brush” Epi-LASEK

Surface ablation procedures available in the Bay Area

What is PRK?

Photorefractive Keratectomy

PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK, and “Soft Brush” Epi-LASEK are all procedures that use the excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. These differ from LASIK in that there is no need to create a corneal flap, avoiding potential flap complications.


Prior to LASIK, PRK surgery was the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure. It was the first FDA-approved procedure changing the curvature of the cornea with the excimer laser.

Who is PRK for?

PRK surgery is best suited for patients who are not candidates for LASIK, including those with thinner corneas, irregularly shaped corneas, or with vocational or sports-related limitations where a corneal flap is contraindicated.

How does PRK work?

In PRK, the topmost layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed and allowed to grow back naturally over the course of 3-4 days. The surface of the cornea is reshaped using the excimer laser.

How do LASEK and Epi-LASEK work?

With LASEK and Epi-LASEK, the epithelium is moved aside and then replaced after surgery.

LaserVue Performs PRK
for Patients in the Bay Area

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What Is Custom PRK?

Custom Wavefront PRK surgery is a procedure that allows your surgeon to customize the conventional PRK procedure to your individual eyes.

Custom PRK provides an additional level of data about your visual system using Wavefront technology.

  • The Wavefront analyzer’s software performs complicated measurements and presents a visual representation of how light is bent by your eye for the surgeon to evaluate.
  • Data from this process is transferred to the laser, which generates a treatment plan for your refractive error (visual imperfections).
  • Treating a patient with the information taken from the Wavefront analyzer can result in greater clarity of vision and fewer complaints of glare or night halos.

The PRK laser vision correction process is completed in approximately five minutes. Upon completion, Dr. Bansal places a clear bandage contact lens on the cornea to protect it for approximately 3-5 days. Since a layer about as thin as a human hair is typically removed, the cornea should maintain its original strength.

LaserVue helps you determine if the high level of individualization from Custom PRK surgery is right for you.

What to Expect with PRK

Medical History

Both PRK and LASIK have proven to be effective methods for laser vision correction. Each has its strengths, depending on the situation.

While the initial recovery is usually slower with PRK compared to LASIK, the final vision result is typically the same with either method.

  • PRK healing is slower and results in discomfort and compromised vision during the first week of the healing process
  • Patients are seen frequently following the procedure until the surface layer heals into place
  • Patients do not typically see well enough to drive during this healing period


PRK may be the right choice for certain clinical situations, such as:

  • Patients with thin corneas or irregularly shaped corneas

  • Patients predisposed to extreme trauma (i.e. boxer)

  • Patients with certain corneal dystrophies

  • Patients with very large pupils

  • Patients that have had prior radial keratotomy, LASIK, retinal tears or glaucoma surgery

  • Any patient who just doesn’t want a LASIK flap!

After The Procedure

After PRK surgery, the usual full recovery time is about 3 months, though patients heal at different rates.
Although it can take a few weeks to a few months for patients to fully reach their optimal vision, outcomes for PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK are similar.

3-5 Days Post-Surgery

Patients usually experience some discomfort and blurred vision during the first few days. Halos and glare may be present from this time. Additionally, patients are normally placed on a regimen of steroid eye drops for a two-to-four-month window following the procedure.

Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days.

1 Week Post-Surgery

Most patients report improved vision by the end of the first week.

1 Month Post-Surgery

Many patients report that most of their side effects have subsided.

3 Months Post-Surgery

Most patients report that halos and glares subside at this time.

Interested in
Laser Eye Surgery?

There are medical conditions that may make surface ablation procedures like PRK more suitable than LASIK.

LaserVue will evaluate and determine which procedure is best for you. We will inform you of the benefits and risks of each procedure, and answer all of your questions regarding the procedures.

If you’re interested in PRK, give us a call at 1-800-LASER-45 (1-800-527-3745) to schedule a free consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for PRK, LASIK, or another refractive surgery treatment.

Visit LaserVue for a Free Consultation!

San Francisco

LaserVue LASIK and Cataract Center San Francisco
711 Van Ness Ave #320,
San Francisco, CA 94102
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-415-346-5500

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Business Location
3540 Mendocino Ave. #200,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-707-522-6200

Mountain View

Laservue LASIK Center in Mountain View
1174 Castro St., #112,
Mountain View, CA 94040
Location & Map 1-800-527-3745 1-650-966-0900

Call 1-800-LASER-45 or Schedule a Consultation