PRK was the original FDA-approved laser vision correction option. Still a great alternative for LASIK, PRK does not require the creation of a flap and can be used for patients who are not candidates for LASIK. Although recovery is generally longer for PRK, the results are essentially equal to those of LASIK.
PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It was actually the original laser vision correction that was approved by the FDA in 1995. PRK is the exact same surgery as LASIK, except in PRK there is no flap that is created. Now in the past, some patients had a flap phobia. They were scared of having a flap created and that drove them away from refractive surgery. With the advent of the IntraLase, the flap complications that could have been seen with other technologies is essentially eliminated. The difference between PRK and LASIK is a very slightly more discomfort with PRK and there is a slower visual recovery although many studies that compare PRK to LASIK have shown equivalent visual outcomes with PRK to LASIK.