PRK / LASEK Surgery

PRK / LASEK may be performed when a patient isn't eligible for LASIK

Vision before PRK / LASEK laser eye surgery Before PRK surgery
Vision after PRK / LASEK treatment Example after PRK
Example after PRK Before PRK surgery

PRK / LASEK Surgery

LASEK and PRK laser eye treatments reshape the cornea to correct abnormalities in focus, as also happens in LASIK surgery. The difference here is that no flap is made in the cornea. These treatments are far less popular than LASIK, due to the significant pain post-operatively and the more prolonged healing (4 hours for LASIK and 4-7 days for PRK and LASEK).

Surface laser is chosen usually when the patient is not eligible for LASIK due to anatomical reasons.

Surface Laser Treatments

These treatments are sometimes called ‘surface laser’ to distinguish them from the LASIK approach. Most clinics perform LASIK for the majority of treatments and use PRK or LASEK in about 5-10% of cases. PRK/LASEK is especially suitable for those in contact sports or extremely active lifestyles.

In PRK and LASEK, the surface skins cells (epithelium) is removed and the underlying surface is exposed. After the laser application, the surface skin has to heal and this takes 3 to 4 days. It can be fairly painful during the first 3 days and the vision usually takes 3 to 5 days to be fairly clear. Patients often need several days off work.

PRK is usually chosen for anatomical reasons, typically a patient with thinner corneas where you want to avoid creating a LASIK flap. However, with the arrival of very predictable thin LASIK flaps, even some of these patients can now have the benefits of LASIK, e.g. no or little discomfort and very rapid clear vision, usually later the same day for LASIK.

Image showing how an eye works when PRK LASEK laser eye surgery is required

Is PRK / LASEK safe?

PRK has been around for 25 years and is a relatively simple procedure compared to Z-LASIK. In expert hands and at a specialist clinic, the risk of complications is very low. But of course, laser treatment IS still surgery and you should approach having vision correction in the right manner.

We believe coming to a single specialist centre, owned by our Medical Director and chief surgeon, has advantages for you. You will see the same people each time and our surgeons are usually available immediately to see and chat with you if you have any concerns. There is no head office that we have to report to. All of our attention is on your clinical care, and offered by clinicians.

Further information regarding laser eye surgery risks and safety can be found here.

Whilst LASIK will be the choice of many people at Focus, PRK / LASEK is sometimes the way to go. We recently for example treated someone who is active in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) – LASEK was more suited to this particular individual.

Further details on laser eye surgery risks and safety can be found here.

How much does PRK / LASEK cost?

Please visit our surgery prices page for more information. If suitable, you may wish to finance the surgery – please visit the pricing and finance section of the page for more information, as we have a variety of options.

Please call Focus Clinic on 0207 307 8250 to book your free consultation.

Book your FREE consultation

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If you are interested in vision correction at Focus Clinics please call us on 0207 307 8250 and book a free consultation.

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21st Apr


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Surgeon David Allamby FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
 David Allamby