PRK Eye Surgery

PhotoRefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a form of laser refractive surgery in which the shape of the cornea is changed using an excimer laser. The laser ablation is done on the surface of the cornea rather than under a flap, as performed in LASIK. Our world-class surgeons at Lions Laser Vision are dedicated to ensuring your safety and the best possible outcome from your PRK laser eye surgery.


Why Choose PRK Eye Surgery

Modern laser refractive surgery, including PRK eye surgery, is very safe and effective, with most people being extremely happy with the results. We commonly hear that it is the best thing they have ever done and that they wished they had done it sooner.

Lions Laser Vision is the only clinic in Perth able to offer transPRK, performed with the world’s fastest and most advanced laser technology – the SCHWIND AMARIS 1050RS laser. TransPRK is an advanced form of PRK where the surface epithelial cells are removed at the same time as the more permanent part of the cornea (stroma) by the same excimer laser. Before surgery, the exact thickness of the cell layer is measured precisely, and this epithelial map is included in the excimer laser. This means that the procedure is personalised, computer-controlled, and highly precise.

When is PRK a More Suitable Option than LASIK Eye Surgery?

PRK is the preferred procedure over LASIK eye surgery or SmartSight if your cornea is too thin, if there are problems with the surface of the cornea, if there are superficial scars present.

Since PRK surgery does not create a corneal flap, the entire thickness of the underlying corneal stroma is available for treatment.

This is beneficial to those whose cornea is too thin, or if you have undergone other types of laser eye surgery in the past and therefore have a thinner cornea. There is also no risk of any complications from the corneal flap as there isn’t one created in PRK eye surgery.

The results of PRK eye surgery are just as effective as with LASIK or SmartSight, but the recovery after surgery is slower and more time off work may be required.

The PRK Eye Surgery Procedure

The thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed prior to reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. The epithelium repairs itself (grows back over the corneal surface) within a few days after surgery.

PRK eye surgery is basically the same as LASIK surgery but without cutting a flap in the cornea, so it is easier to perform. However, recovery of vision after PRK is slower than LASIK and there may be more discomfort afterward.

Similarly to LASIK and SmartSight, PRK works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser. This technology allows light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clear vision.

What Can I Expect During and After the Eye Surgery Procedure?

The laser procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure at Lions Eye Institute. You will be here for 2-3 hours. You will have some oral sedation and analgesia, so you will need someone to drive you home that day and to bring you back the following morning.

At the end of the PRK surgery, you will be able to see but not very well. You will find it very difficult to keep the eyes open and they will water for several hours after the PRK procedure. It is best to go home and rest with them closed for a few hours. Your vision will be very variable in the first few days to a week while healing. Usually, your vision will get worse at about day 3 to 5, as the surface in the middle of the cornea heals but will gradually improve over the following few weeks.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from PRK Laser Eye Correction?

The final results of PRK eye surgery are similar to LASIK; however, initial PRK recovery is slower because it takes a few days for new epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye.

LASIK and SmartSight patients generally have less discomfort, and their vision stabilises more quickly, whereas vision improvement with PRK is gradual and the final outcome can take several weeks.

It takes 3 to 6 months for your refraction to completely stabilise after the PRK surgery procedure, but most of the change happens in the first month. After this, you should not be aware of any change in distance vision for a long time.

The effect of the PRK surgery does not wear off, but your eyes can continue to change with age, meaning you may need glasses again. This change is more likely to occur with younger patients, those who are very short-sighted to begin with, or for hyperopic (long-sighted) corrections.

Are There Any Risks to PRK Surgery?

PRK eye surgery is extremely safe, effective, and has high success rates. Even though possible side effects are rare, there is always an element of risk just like any other surgery. Your surgeon will discuss any risks that involve your surgery upon consultation. Some rare risks to be aware of during and after the surgery, whether they be short- or long-term include:

  • Over correction and under correction
  • Haloes and night glare
  • Loss of best correct vision
  • Scars on cornea
  • Cloudiness on the cornea
  • Infections and delayed healing
  • Light sensitivity
  • Regression of the treatment effectiveness over time
  • Eye pain, irritation, watering

Our team is highly experienced and committed to delivering the most successful results during and after laser surgery. With the latest technology, your safety and comfort are our number one priority. Please ask us if you’re concerned about any risks during and after your laser eye treatment.

How Much Does PRK Cost?

The cost of PRK eye surgery depends on a number of factors, including the condition of your eyes. There are a range of payment and finance options available, so you’ll find one suited to you. Find out our approximate laser eye surgery costs and payment plans or book a consult with our friendly team.

Find Out if You’re Suitable for Laser Eye Surgery

If you’d like to find out if you’re more suitable for PRK than LASIK, then take our suitability test or book in for an eye surgery assessment by calling us on (08) 9381 0758 or visiting our contact page.

Please note: To make an appointment with one of our surgeons you will need a referral from your optometrist, general practitioner, or another ophthalmologist to be able to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultation.

Contact Lions Laser Vision

Please call us at Lions Laser Vision and speak with one of our clinical coordinators who will be able to answer your questions and schedule an initial consultation with one of our refractive surgeons.

Alternatively, complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

PHONE: 08 9381 0758
FAX: 08 9381 0700


Lions Eye Institute

Lions Laser Vision
1st Floor,
2 Verdun Street
Nedlands WA 6009

St John of God Murdoch
Murdoch Medical Centre

Suite 4B,
Ground Floor,
100 Murdoch Dr
Murdoch WA 6150