What Is PRK? 

PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It’s an outpatient refractive laser surgery that can help correct: 

  • Myopia: Nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia: Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism: An irregularly shaped cornea or lens

PRK at a Glance

Photorefractive keratectomy in Long Beach is a relatively quick surgery that can dramatically improve your vision. During the procedure, Dr. Liu will remove the outer layer of your cornea (the epithelium). She will then use a laser to shape your cornea so light can focus on the retina and you can see objects clearly.

It’s a safe and comfortable 15-minute surgery with a low complication rate. We tend to recommend this procedure to patients who have thin or irregularly shaped corneas and aren’t candidates for LASIK. 

The Benefits

Ideal for Patients Who Can’t Have LASIK

PRK disrupts less of the corneal tissue when compared to LASIK. As such, it’s often an option for patients who can’t have LASIK due to thin or irregular corneas. 

Quick and Comfortable Procedure

Most PRK surgeries take just 15 minutes from start to finish. We will numb your eyes with drops beforehand so you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. 

Improved Vision

Many of our patients are able to achieve 20/20 vision with PRK surgery, which drastically reduces their need for glasses and contacts. 

High Satisfaction Rate

PRK produces long-lasting vision correction. At Beach Cities Laser Vision, patients are typically thrilled with the results they achieve with this surgery. 

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The PRK Surgery

Before surgery, Dr. Liu will numb your eyes with special drops to ensure your comfort. She will then remove the outer layer of your cornea and reshape the tissue underneath using a laser. This reshaping process is what corrects your vision and enables your eye to focus correctly. To end the surgery, Dr. Liu will place a clear contact lens over your eye.

This lens acts like a bandage for the area and can minimize irritation while you heal. The entire surgery takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll be able to return home right away. Your vision will be noticeably better within three to five days. However, it will take about three months before the final results are apparent. 

What Are the Risks?

PRK is a very safe corrective eye surgery—one that Dr. Liu herself successfully had many years ago. However, all surgeries do carry a degree of risk. PRK side effects include sensitivity to light, temporary pain, scars on your cornea, and more. Very rarely, serious complications can include vision loss. During your consultation, Dr. Liu can help you evaluate if PRK in Long Beach & Torrance, CA, is a safe and effective option for you. 

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Is PRK Right for You? 

To determine if you’re an ideal candidate for PRK surgery, Dr. Liu will first perform a comprehensive examination. During this visit, she’ll evaluate the health of your eyes, measure your corneas and pupils, and assess your refractive error to ensure that PRK is appropriate. To be considered a candidate for this surgery, you should: 

  • Be 18+ years of age
  • Have healthy corneas and eyes
  • Have a stable prescription for at least one year
  • Not be diagnosed with eye scarring, corneal injuries, or other serious issues with your eyes


Is PRK painful?

What is the recovery like?

Do I need to stop wearing contacts before surgery?

Is PRK painful?

No. Prior to photorefractive keratectomy in our Torrance office, Dr. Liu will numb your eyes with anesthetic drops. This will keep you comfortable during the procedure. If you experience any eye pain as you heal, it can be treated with prescription eye drops or an over-the-counter pain reliever.

What is the recovery like?

The initial recovery period lasts a few days. You’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home, and you may want to take a few days off from work as you heal. The bandage contact lens should remain in place for several days. Dr. Liu will remove it once the surface of your eye has healed.

Do I need to stop wearing contacts before surgery?

Yes. You’ll need to stop wearing gas-permeable lenses two weeks prior and all other types of contacts five days prior.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’re ready to plan your PRK surgery with Dr. Liu, please call our Long Beach office today and schedule an appointment. 

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