Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose. He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

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What are my chances of achieving 20/20 vision with PRK? Can something bad happen to me during surgery? These are the questions that every patient wants to know.

Be aware that, although most PRK patients are already doing quite well at their one-month examination, it may take several months before we know if you achieved perfect vision. Often, patients who are severely nearsighted or farsighted must wait the longest for full results. The eye needs to heal fully before the doctor can actually determine the final result.


PRK is done using the same lasers and the same measurements as LASIK. The only difference between the PRK and LASIK procedures is the absence of the flap in PRK. Not surprisingly, the results of PRK and LASIK are the same, although getting to the final result takes longer with PRK. The great majority of people who have PRK achieve 20/20 vision or better. Your exact chance of achieving 20/20 vision depends on your degree of correction. Refer to the chapter on LASIK to determine your chance of getting 20/20 vision. The numbers there apply to PRK as well.


If you don’t achieve 20/20 vision after PRK, your doctor should recommend an enhancement procedure to you, if you wish. An enhancement procedure means doing a small amount of additional PRK to improve your vision further. During a PRK enhancement, the surface skin (the epithelium) is removed again, and you will experience another three to four days of mild to moderate discomfort. You will be prescribed medication to ease any discomfort. A minimum wait of six months after the original PRK is required for the eyes to become sufficiently stable for PRK enhancement.

Generally speaking, if your vision is 20/20, we don’t do enhancement procedures to try to get your vision to a super vision 20/15 level. However, there are exceptions. I like to say that the goal of surgery is to produce a smile. If you are 20/20 and not yet happy with your vision, if appropriate, I’ll offer you an enhancement to correct your vision to 20/15.

Potential Complications With PRK

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