PRK Eye Surgery

At Montgomery Eye Care, we offer a full range of vision correction options for patients in Denver and Northglenn, CO. Our personalized approach to eye care ensures that you will receive a treatment plan that works best for your unique vision care needs. We offer PRK surgery as a vision correction option for patients who are not candidates for LASIK.

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What is PRK Vision Correction Surgery?

PRK surgery (photorefractive keratectomy) is a laser eye surgery that involves reshaping the cornea to treat refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. When the cornea, the thin outermost layer of the eye, is misshaped, it prevents the retina from processing images properly, leading to distorted vision, blurriness, and trouble focusing. During PRK surgery, Dr. Montgomery uses an excimer laser to remove the epithelium and reshape the corneal tissue to help the cornea refract light properly and improve vision. The overall procedure takes less than 15 minutes and produces long-lasting results.

Comparing LASIK Alternatives

LASIK is a popular vision correction procedure, and the one that people are usually most familiar with. While LASIK is an excellent vision correction option, it is not right for everyone. Patients who are not candidates for LASIK due to pupil size or thin corneas have other options, including PRK.

At Montgomery Eye Care, we like to make sure that our patients understand all of their options. Another LASIK alternative that we offer is EVO ICL. ICL, which stands for implantable collamer lens, is different from LASIK and PRK because it does not permanently change the shape of the cornea; it uses additive technology instead. Some patients find that ICL is a better choice for them because it has a shorter recovery time than PRK. Those who have dry eye concerns may also be better candidates for ICL.Typically, Patients who are candidates for PRK are also good candidates for ICL. Learn more about EVO ICL.

How Is PRK Performed?

Before PRK Surgery

During your initial consultation, Dr. Montgomery will perform a thorough eye exam and a series of tests that will determine which vision correction procedure is best for you. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions and learn more about your options. If you and the doctor decide that PRK is right for you, you’ll be given detailed pre-procedure instructions.

PRK Procedure

You will need to have someone drive you to and from the procedure. Before beginning the procedure, Dr. Montgomery will numb your eyes with local anesthetic eye drops and place a speculum over the eye to prevent blinking. Dr. Montgomery will gently remove the epithelial layer of the cornea with an alcohol solution and then carefully reshape the cornea with the Alcon WaveLight® EX500 laser. Depending on the severity of your vision impairment, the entire procedure generally takes less than 15 minutes with minimal to no discomfort. After the procedure, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to allow the epithelium to heal.

PRK Recovery

Our team will schedule follow up appointments and provide you with detailed recovery instructions, such as medications to take, eye drops to administer, and activities to avoid. In order to achieve optimal recovery and quick results, we recommend resting your eyes for the first few days and avoiding strenuous activity. Although you will notice clearer vision immediately, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity to light for the first few days after surgery.

5-Star Rating!

Dr Montgomery has been my ophthalmologist for several years, I highly recommend him. He always takes the time to answer all my questions. He is compassionate to my concerns re eye surgery and I have grown to trust and respect him a lot.

Estella Z.

They are a nice clean office on the inside. They got me an appointment within an hour of calling the morning I woke up and had a messed up eye. They accept Medicaid. I was here about 30 minutes.


Life changing experience. Dr Montgomery is a true professional who happens to be extremely kind and caring. I have enjoyed working with him and his team.

Joseph H.

Frequently Asked Questions About PRK

Am I a candidate for PRK?

Due to the nature of this surgery, it is imperative that you have no signs of glaucoma or other eye abnormalities. In addition to a desire to be free of glasses and contact lenses, in order to qualify for PRK you must also:

  • Be in good overall health
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have stable vision
  • Not have an autoimmune disease
  • Not have diabetes or arthritis
  • Not be pregnant or nursing

How does PRK compare to LASIK?

PRK and LASIK are both refractive surgeries and they both correct vision by reshaping the cornea. The main difference is the way in which the eye surgeon accesses the cornea. In LASIK, the surgeon uses a special blade or a laser to make a small flap in the cornea. PRK does not involve a corneal flap. Instead, the surgeon removes the top layer of the cornea in order to reshape it. Since that layer, called the epithelium, needs to grow back, the healing process and recovery period is longer with PRK than it is with LASIK or ICL.

What are the risks of PRK?

Any surgical procedure carries some risk of side effects or complications. The most common side effects of PRK, such as eye pain and discomfort, are temporary. While rare, possible long-term Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Main Complications of Photorefractive Keratectomy and their Management Spadea L, Giovannetti F Go to Source side effects include undercorrection, dry eye, or corneal ectasia.

Why choose Montgomery Eye Care for your vision correction surgery?

Dr. Jim Montgomery is a board-certified Ophthalmologist with extensive experience in vision correction. He and his team prioritize patient safety and comfort while providing top-quality eye care. Dr. Montgomery uses leading edge technology to help patients live life with less dependence on glasses or contacts.

Contact Us

Are you ready to move beyond the daily hassle of glasses and contacts? If you are interested in laser vision correction with PRK or other vision correction options, we can help. Contact us with any questions or to schedule your consultation appointment.

We'd Love to See You!

Give us a call at: (303) 252-9981 or fill out the form below to request a consultation!

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1 Spadea L, Giovannetti F. Main Complications of Photorefractive Keratectomy and their Management. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov 27;13:2305-2315. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S233125. PMID: 31819355; PMCID: PMC6885542.

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