Forgo the contacts or glasses. With PRK, clear vision is an outpatient procedure away from ditching bad vision.

PRK, the first type of laser eye surgery, is performed by mid-Missouri’s most experienced team, giving you the clear vision you want with a team you can trust.

What is PRK?

PRK is a refractive surgery that is intended to reduce your dependence on glasses and contacts. The surgery uses a laser to re-shape the cornea in a way that properly focuses light in the eye. 

This procedure uses the same laser and treatment patterns as LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) to offer similar visual outcomes, but has several key differences. 

PRK avoids the use of a corneal flap by applying the treatment directly to the surface of the eye. Because there isn’t a surgical flap involved, PRK might be better for certain patients, including those who:

  • Have dry eyes
  • Are active or susceptible to an eye injury at work
  • Have thinner or irregularly shaped corneas

The surgery itself takes about five to 10 minutes per eye, but the laser procedure portion only takes about 10 seconds. It is considered an outpatient procedure, so you will need a ride home later that day. No follow-up procedures are required. However, we will check in with you the day after your procedure and at least two other times to ensure your eyes are healing properly.

If you need adjustments to improve your vision further, free revisions are offered for up to one year, and at a reduced rate after the first year.

Vision results

With PRK, our goal is to get your vision as close to perfect as possible, but there are a lot of factors that go into your results, including whether or not your nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s provides general expected results our doctors use for PRK and LASIK.

Results Myopia (Nearsightedness)

  • 20/20 or better: 83.4% after three months and 87.7% after six months
  • 20/40 or better: 98.03% after three months and 98.3% after six months
  • Approved treatment range: Up to -12D sphere and -6D of astigmatism

Results for Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

  • 20/20 or better: 46.4% after three months and 54.3% after six months
  • 20/40 or better: 95.2% after three months and 95.3% after six months
  • Approved treatment range: Up to +6D sphere and +5D of astigmatism

Is PRK right for you?

Call to schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists to find out if PRK surgery is an option for you. There are a few qualifications we consider if you are interested in surgery, including:

  • How healthy your eyes are, and if you are too nearsighted or farsighted
  • Are 21 years of age or older, as that's when our eyes stop growing
  • Have a stable refraction that hasn't changed in the past year
  • If you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

We offer a free consultation to patients interested in PRK surgery. Because PRK is considered elective surgery, insurance companies do not currently cover the costs. Each eye costs $2,100 and includes all surgical care, post-operative care and any vision enhancement procedures, if needed, for one year. MU Health Care employees receive a discount.

Other laser eye surgery we offer

Our experienced surgeons use a number of techniques to improve your vision. We can help you decide on the procedure that is right for you based on your specific eye conditions and lifestyle.

LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis)

During LASEK surgery, your surgeon uses an alcohol solution to loosen the surface layer of the cornea before applying the laser. Your surgeon rolls back the surface cells, uses the laser to reshape your cornea, and then recovers the area with the surface cells.

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)

The LASIK procedure reshapes the tissue underneath your cornea. During surgery, the surgeon uses a laser (microkeratome or femtosecond) to cut a thin flap on the top layer of the cornea and lifts the flap back, exposing the tissue underneath. Your bed is then rotated under a second laser (excimer). This is when the laser reshapes the tissue to correct the vision. The surgeon then replaces the flap.