Photorefractive keratectomy or (PRK) is one of the safest and most time tested laser vision correction procedures available.

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Before LASIK, PRK was the most common refractive procedure. Chico Eye Center is the only office in Chico currently performing LASIK and PRK.


•   elimination of flap complications
•   reduced risk of dry eye problems
•   ability to perform the procedure on patients with thinner corneas or extremely high degrees of refractive errors


PRK is performed on an outpatient basis using numbing drops and a mild oral sedative. During the PRK procedure, an instrument will be placed in the eye to prevent it from blinking. Then your surgeon will use one of the various techniques to remove the superficial layer of the cornea. The excimer laser then reshapes the curvature of the cornea by delivering customized laser pulses based on each person’s individual prescription. A bandage contact lens (a contact lens with no prescription) is then placed on the eye to promote proper healing. The bandage contact lens will be worn from 3 to 5 days depending on how your eye heals. Vision will initially be fairly blurry, but will improve dramatically over the first 3 to 5 days. The final vision may not stabilize for up to 3 to 4 months, but once stable, vision results are comparable to LASIK.


•   Over 21 years old
•   Stable vision for at least 1 year
•   Cornea is healthy and thick enough for the procedure
•   Has refractive error(s) that fall within the treatable range
•   No diseases or conditions that could impair the procedure or healing process
•   Has been educated about the procedure including its risks, alternatives, and benefits
•   Understands that the goal of surgery is to improve vision and reduce dependence on glasses and contact lenses

Technology & Results

At Chico Eye Center, we use the newest developments in PRK surgery which includes “CustomVue WaveFront” technology. Because your eyes are as unique as a fingerprint, it is now possible to “map” them in much the same way. This “map”, much like a blueprint, is then used to customize your procedure with as much precision as possible. This new technology, along with our VISX Star S4 laser with ActiveTrack (infrared eye tracking to maintain centration and fixation) and Iris Recognition technology provides even greater satisfaction, better overall vision and results (a higher chance of 20/20 vision or better), and fewer side effects.

The results of PRK are considered comparable to those achievable with LASIK. PRK does not correct presbyopia, a natural change in the eyes that affects everyone over the age of 40, so patients that need reading glasses will continue to need them after surgery.
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