Wavefront Guided PRK

Photo-Refractive Keratectomy or PRK in Portland with Dr. Brian Will

Photorefractive keratectomy or PRK is the “original” laser vision correction procedure. The concept behind PRK drove the first wave of laser vision correction procedures in the early 1990s. As a surgical procedure, PRK has continued to undergo refinements, and has a place among modern vision correction solutions used today. While PRK is less prevalent than LASIK, there are many circumstances where this treatment method is the recommended course of action to supply your personal best vision.

To learn more about PRK in Portland and whether you qualify for this procedure, contact Dr. Will at Will Vision and Laser Center today!


PRK vs. LASIK Vision Correction Surgery

The primary reason why PRK is not as common as LASIK is the slow recovery process. While LASIK patients notice a difference in the quality of their vision within a few hours or a day, healing from PRK can require a week; patients take several days off work for recovery after their surgery, and their vision slowly becomes clear over the following weeks. While both PRK and LASIK use laser technology to treat the cornea, PRK does involve the use of some manual tools, while LASIK can be laser-only and bladeless.

Dr. Will recommends PRK in specific circumstances for patients who do not otherwise qualify for LASIK-only procedures. He carefully examines patients to suggest the procedure that will ensure their personal best vision and a safe procedure with minimal side effects. If patients will not be able to achieve clear vision and improved quality of life with LASIK, PRK bridges the gap and provides the customized treatment necessary. Dr. Will incorporates Wavefront technology to individualize your surgical plan and applies laser energy for effective corneal reshaping.

If you have a question about PRK or LASIK, we welcome you to our office for a personal consultation with Dr. Brian Will.

Dr. Will

Dr. Brian Will is dedicated to quality care and his patients receive the personalized attention and visual results they need and deserve. Dr. Will provides a safe, effective, and accurate approach to patient diagnosis and treatment.

Understanding the PRK Procedure

The PRK technique differs from LASIK in that, before applying the laser to reshape the cornea, Dr. Will removes the top layer of cells on the cornea, called the epithelium. Having completed this step, he performs the laser vision correction process to change the cornea to the desired shape. Dr. Will then applies a medication to the cornea and to reduce the chance of after-effects, such as corneal haze which creates a cloudy appearance. Finally, we rinse the medication away with a saline solution, and place a contact lens in the eye to serve as a temporary covering while you heal. You’ll need to keep the contact lens in your eye continuously until the epithelial layer grows back over the cornea, which typically occurs within three to five days of your procedure.

From a quality-of-vision perspective, there is no fundamental difference in the results delivered by LASIK vs. PRK. LASIK is not superior to PRK or vice versa. Like LASIK, the goal of PRK is to correct errors in refraction such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. With advanced excimer lasers, like theJohnson and Johnson Vision –VISX Star S4 IR, it is also easy to use PRK to perform Wavefront-guided treatments directed at correcting both simple and complex vision abnormalities.

Dr. Will can complete your PRK procedure in as few as 15 minutes if he is treating both eyes – even less if you are only having one eye targeted.

Post-Operative Care

During the healing phase, you will need to be diligent about applying anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and lubricating drops into your eyes. We frequently send our patients home with medication to help with sleep and improve comfort for the first few days postoperatively. Dr. Will ensures you have complete instructions for what to expect immediately after your procedure and in the following days and weeks as healing progresses. We will ask you to wear the contact lenses placed after surgery until Dr. Will approves you to remove them. Your vision will be blurry for several weeks before it begins to clear. Ultimately, the quality of vision will be indistinguishable from LASIK.

Do You Qualify for PRK in Portland?

At Will Vision and Laser Centers, we typically select PRK as an option when a patient’s cornea is not considered thick enough to undergo LASIK surgery. 

However, because we use the iFS Advanced Femtosecond laser, we can complete exquisitely precise surgical protocols, so we can often perform LASIK for patients that who told that they need PRK by surgeons who either don’t have access to advanced technology or who have inadequate experience in treating patients with thin corneas.

In other cases, if a patient has a profession or hobby such as boxing that places the eye at risk for direct trauma, PRK is a better option.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for PRK or LASIK is to contact Will Vision and Laser Centers. We are happy to educate our patients on the advantages of treatment methods and unique instances where we recommend each procedure to help patients finally gain freedom from eyeglasses, contacts, and readers.

High-Technology Treatment Planning with PRK and Wavefront Technology

If you need PRK, we are happy to perform your treatment using our state-of-the-art Wavefront-guided technology. This system accounts for complex abnormalities in vision by creating a 3D treatment guide that personalizes your procedure. In this way, we can help you achieve your personal best vision. The Wavefront-guided PRK technology used at Will Vision and Laser Centers is identical to that used by the U.S. military for soldiers in the Warfighter program. Dr. Will has extensive experience with PRK, having performed these procedures since 1991.

If you are considering LASIK as your preferred surgical option,  but believe you only qualify for PRK, call our office today to learn about how our advanced technology can help you achieve renewed vision clarity with LASIK. While PRK may be your best treatment option in some cases, you shouldn’t have your treatment options limited due to the use of outdated technology or a specialist’s inability to offer the best possible care for your unique needs.

Dr. Brian Will and his team invest in our patients’ well-being by investing in modern and effective technology that allows us to cater to a broad range of patients’ needs. This technology, combined with Dr. Will’s unmatched skill and experience in his profession, provides the highest level of care available for refractive surgery.

The Future's Right Before Your Eyes!

If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey to better vision, contact Will Vision & Laser Centers today. We’re excited to welcome you into our practice and for you to “See the Difference.”


Will I Still Need Glasses After My Procedure?

PRK can dramatically improve vision for many people. Thanks to Dr. Will’s advanced techniques and technology, many of our patients achieve 20/20 vision or better and no longer require glasses or contacts. Ask Dr. Will what level of results you can expect after surgery.

How Much Time Will I Need to Take off From Work for PRK?

PRK requires a longer recovery period than LASIK. We recommend taking at least a week off from work for your procedure.

Is PRK More Expensive Than LASIK?

The cost for your vision correction procedure will depend on several factors, including the type of surgery you need and the difficulty of the correction. It is impossible to estimate your costs without a meeting and examination. Let’s schedule a consultation and we’ll explore your cost, financing, and payment options.

Are Results Permanent?

PRK permanently reshapes the eye. Like LASIK, it provides long-lasting results.

I’ve Been Told I’m Not a Good Candidate for LASIK. Is PRK an Option?

Dr. Will uses advanced techniques to provide vision correction for men and women throughout the Pacific Northwest. We can treat many patients with LASIK surgery who have been told they aren’t good candidates at other practices. PRK opens the door for many more patients to receive vision correction procedures. Let us help you improve your vision.

Am I a Good Candidate for PRK?

PRK is an excellent option for improving your vision. We usually recommend this treatment to patients who have a thin cornea and are not eligible for LASIK surgery. It can improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. As with LASIK, we cannot perform PRK on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Learn More about Photo-Refractive Keratectomy

Dr. Brian Will welcomes patients to visit one of his office locations for a consultation on whether PRK corrective vision treatment will best suit your needs. To schedule an initial appointment with our specialist, call our office today!