About PRK Eye Surgery at Michelson Laser Vision at UAB Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama

By Marc Michelson, M.D.

PRK, which is known medically as Photorefractive Keratectomy, was the first type of corneal laser eye surgery performed with the Excimer Laser and used for Laser Vision Correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. PRK has withstood the test of time and has proven to be to be a safe, effective and predictable method of Laser Eye Surgery for millions of eye care patients.

PRK is one member of a class of corneal laser eye surgery procedures called “advanced surface ablation”. Simply, this means that the Excimer Laser energy that is used to reshape the surface of the cornea is applied to the surface of the cornea, beneath the epithelium, or “skin of the eye”. The cornea is the clear, dome shaped layer on the front of the eye. In order to apply the laser energy, Dr. Michelson will first remove the outermost layer of the epithelium. As Corneal Surgeons, this is quite routine forour doctors. While the procedure itself is painless, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the first day or so of the healing process. The laser application during the surgery for PRK is identical to that used for LASIK and other corneal laser eye surgery procedures.The main difference between the way PRK and LASIK are performed is that in PRK the epithelium is removed while in LASIK a flap of tissue is created. The corneal epithelium serves many functions including providing a smooth optical surface. Once the corneal epithelium is removed, it requires several days or more to heal. Most patients experience improved vision right away with PRK, but it takes a few weeks to achieve the best and clearest vision.

We may recommend PRK, also known as Advanced Surface Ablation, as the Laser Vision Correction procedure of choice for certain patients, including those who have particularly thin corneas or certain other corneal disorders, those who actively participate in contact sports, and those in active military duty.

Today, we use advanced “scanning-tracking” laser technology at Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. to provide a smoother corneal surface and markedly improved eye drop medications, both of which make the visual recovery and overall comfort considerably better than the early PRK procedures.


To schedule an appointment for a Free PRK Consultation at Michelson Laser Vision, please call us Toll Free 877-879-0909.

For a complete review of Laser Eye Surgery including LASIK, LASIK risks, LASIK complications, contraindications to having LASIK, possible LASIK problems and LASIK side effects you may visit or