LASIK & PRK: Vision Correction Surgeries 

Make an Appointment

Imagine never having to panic because you misplaced your glasses. Or dealing with discomfort and dryness from contacts. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) laser eye surgeries make it possible.

Why UVA Health for LASIK & PRK

Your eyes are very complex, sensitive organs. For any eye surgery, you’ll want an experienced, highly skilled surgeon. At UVA Health, our LASIK and PRK surgeons are both.

UVA Health has been developing eye surgery expertise since the beginning. We helped develop the excimer and femto lasers these surgeries use. And we continue to share knowledge to improve and refine vision correction surgery.

You can trust our surgical experience. We've helped thousands of people gain freedom from glasses and contacts.

LASIK vs PRK: What’s the Best Option for Me?

At UVA Health, our surgeons have extensive experience performing both surgeries. Both surgeries correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. And both surgeries can have effective results. But they do have some differences. We’ll help you understand the pros and cons of each surgery and which is best for your specific case.

During both LASIK and PRK, our surgeons use a special laser to reshape your cornea (the clear outermost layer of your eye). This helps light focus properly on your retina (image processor in the back of your eye). This makes your vision clearer.

The FDA approved LASIK eye surgery in 1999. Since then, more than 10 million people have received the surgery in the U.S. Data shows 98% of patients are satisfied with their results. And more than 90% of patients achieve perfect 20/20 vision or better.

PKR was approved 5 years earlier in 1994. It has a longer recovery time than LASIK. Most people choose LASIK vs PRK. PRK may be a better option in some cases, like if you have a naturally thinner cornea or other physical difference better suited to PRK.

LASIK & PRK Surgeries

We’ll start with a screening appointment for surgery. Your surgeon will go over your medical history and do several tests to make sure laser eye surgery is a good option for you. You shouldn't wear contacts for at least 3 days before this appointment.

The Laser Eye Surgery Experience

LASIK and PRK are outpatient surgeries, meaning there’s no hospital stay. Each procedure takes less than 1 hour. Your surgeon will work on each eye for about 15 minutes.

During the surgery, you'll:

  • Be awake
  • Get numbing eyedrops and a mild sedative
  • Lay face-up on your back
  • Focus your gaze at a certain spot

When you have LASIK, your surgeon makes a small cut in the outer layer of your cornea. This allows the surgeon to pull back eye tissue, called a "corneal flap."

Your surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea. This fixes your vision. Then they move the flap back to its original position.

The PRK procedure is very similar to LASIK. However, your surgeon doesn’t make an incision and create a corneal flap.

After Your Laser Eye Surgery

You’ll need someone to drive you home from surgery. You should plan to rest your eyes for the remainder of the day. Your surgery follow-up visit will be the day after your surgery.

Most people get back to work within a few days of LASIK. You should plan to take a week off work after PRK.

More Questions?

Read LASIK and PRK frequently asked questions.

Sindhu Test Modal