Not everyone interested in laser vision correction may be a candidate for LASIK. In patients who have thinner corneas, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, or severe dry eye, PRK may be a good LASIK alternative. It yields long-term visual outcomes comparable to those of LASIK and is available with Dr. Ambati in Eugene.

While it is safe and effective, PRK does involve lasering from the surface of the cornea, which entails a longer recovery time for healing with some pain for the first few days and requires a much longer period of eyedrops to help the cornea heal. We do prescribe some pain medication for the first few days and recommend the patient take the weekend and 1 or 2 days off from work. There is a bandage contact lens for the first few days to help reduce pain (that is removed in the clinic sometime in the 1st week after the procedure).   Patients are generally able to drive by 3 or 4 days after the procedure, and the vision continues to improve for the first few weeks.  They can expect to be on eyedrops to promote corneal healing for 2-3 months and should wear sunglasses when outside for the same period, avoiding UV light exposure. All that said, long-term visual outcomes from 1 month onward are generally equal to those of LASIK.