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Who may have photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)?

To be a candidate for PRK, you must have a stable and appropriate refractive error, be free of eye disease, be at least 18 years old, and be willing to accept the potential risks, complications, and side effects of PRK. You should not have a significant skin or systemic disease that could affect healing. You should also not have a history of excessive scarring. If you meet these requirements, PRK may be appropriate for you to correct your refractive error.

If you are considering refractive surgery, PRK may be a better choice if you have dry eye or thin corneas, either of which may prevent you from having some other forms of refractive surgery, such as LASIK.

Also, if you have a very active lifestyle or occupation, PRK may be a good option. With refractive surgeries such as LASIK that involve creating a corneal flap, there is a danger that the flap could be dislodged accidentally while engaged in high-risk activities. No flap is created during PRK.

PRK may also be used after cataract surgery to fine tune vision when necessary if accommodative or multifocal IOLs have been implanted.

If you are considering refractive surgery to decrease your reliance on eyeglasses or contact lenses, discuss with your ophthalmologist whether or not you are a good candidate for PRK. Together you can decide if it is the right choice for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.