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Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA or PRK)

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a common procedure which is used by many ophthalmologists across the country. This procedure also uses the WaveLight® Excimer Laser to reshape the cornea (just like in LASIK procedures), but instead of lifting a flap to reach the sub-layer of the cornea, the outer layer is removed completely by the WaveLight® Femtosecond Laser. This outer layer (the epithelium or skin-like layer of the cornea) regrows in about three to five days. You will wear a contact lens (a bandage for your eye) for a few days post-operatively to shield the newly-treated surface from irritants, including your own blinking eyelids! The bandage helps keep you more comfortable as the epithelium regrows.

Because the epithelium layer of the cornea is removed in ASA/PRK, good vision takes longer to return than with LASIK. However, sometimes ASA/PRK is recommended by our surgeons because ultimately it can lead to better long-term vision results.  Other than the flap which is not done for ASA/PRK, the other elements of the surgery and recovery are the same. Please read the sections on this  website about WaveLight® Bladeless LASIK for other information about the procedure.

Watch a Video of

Bladeless WaveLight®