Prk (photorefractive keratectomy)

Prk (photorefractive keratectomy)

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)

Photorefractive keratectomy (abbr. PRK) is an ophthalmic procedure in which the cornea is processed to alter the refractive power. The aim of photorefractive keratectomy is the correction of optic refractive error. As a result, the patient can then see again without visual aid.

The term photorefractive keratectomy is composed of the following components:

  • photo = greek. light respectively. concerning the light
  • refractive = lat. break up, back breaking
  • Kera = greek. horn
  • keratoconjunctivitis = greek. concerning the cornea

This already shows what it is about: The cornea of ​​the eye is processed in such a way that the light subsequently breaks (better) differently. Photorefractive keratectomy, ie the ophthalmological procedure, has been used since 1987. It has been further refined over the years. The modified methods each have different names. All have in common that the surface of the cornea is removed with the help of an untra-fine laser. The laser is much safer to use compared to cutting tools and finer in use.

PRK method

In PRK, the surface of the cornea is processed directly, which means that it is partially removed. The Methodes is therefore also called Oberflächenablation (English. surface ablation ) designated. In contrast to the later developed methods, the regeneration phase after a PRK operation is relatively long.

Difference PRK – LASEK

In the LASEK procedure, the surface of the cornea is cut open in a ring and the upper epithelial layer is detached with the help of alcohol. Only then is the cornea processed. Then the detached cornea is again placed on the cornea. Problem: it floats on the ground and is thus relatively unstable.

Difference PRK – LASIK

In the LASIK procedure, this circular epithelial layer is cut off with a knife (a kind of planer), but not completely. On one side a connection remains. This so-called flap is then folded up, the cornea is processed with the help of a laser.


In the femto-LASIK method, the flap is not cut off with a planer (knife), but separated with a superfine (femto) laser beam. The method is even gentler and safer.

Cost of eye laser methods

From PRK to Femto-LASIK, ever finer and more modern equipment is required – even the training on these devices is more complex. Therefore, the cost of eye-lasering increases from stage to stage. Starting with PRK for about 700 Eur per eye up to Femto-LASIK with about 3000 Euro per eye. The prices differ from clinic to clinic. Inquire with a trusted ophthalmologist in individual cases.

How does the eye work??

To understand what is said here the structure of the eye:

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Christina Cherry
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