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Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) / Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

Man kissing a woman on the cheek after PRKPRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy, is approved to treat low to moderate amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by removing tissue from the surface of the cornea. The outcome of PRK is similar to that of LASIK, and most people achieve 20/20 or better vision with PRK.

Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our surgeons frequently use Mitomycin-C to treat and prevent corneal haze following PRK, so patients can feel confident and at ease with their decision to undergo surgery.

During the PRK procedure at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, the patient’s eye is numbed using a topical, or eye drop anesthesia. Then, the surgeon removes the epithelium, a thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea.

This may be done with a blade, a brush, or even the excimer laser, but most commonly is performed with a diluted alcohol solution. During the actual PRK procedure, the patient stares at a fixation light. In less than a minute, the laser removes the precise amount of tissue while it reshapes the surface of the cornea.

PRK Surgery Procedure Diagram

Immediately after PRK, a soft contact lens is placed on the eye while the cornea heals. Because the epithelium was removed, patients may experience blurry vision for three to five days after PRK and a moderate amount of discomfort until the epithelium heals and covers the treated area.

Various eye drops and oral medications are effective in reducing this post-operative discomfort. Final visual results after PRK may not be fully realized anywhere from several days to a few weeks or more as the surface heals in accordance with each individual’s healing tendencies.


A problem that has plagued PRK in the past has been corneal scarring following PRK for very high amounts of nearsightedness. The surgeons of Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. pioneered the internationally accepted strategy for the treatment and prevention of corneal haze following PRK, utilizing Mitomycin-C (MMC).

Mitomycin-C is an antibiotic chemotherapeutic agent that is used to treat patients who suffer from corneal scarring after PRK. Mitomycin-C can also be used during PRK to prevent corneal haze after the procedure. Mitomycin-C works by inhibiting DNA synthesis, helping to reduce corneal haze after PRK.

Before PRK, the Mitomycin-C is placed in a disposable contact lens vial. A corneal light shield, or sponge, is placed in the Mitomycin-C solution, and after PRK is complete, the sponge is placed on the central cornea and left in place for up to a minute.

Although Mitomycin-C is an effective treatment for corneal haze and scarring, there is no guarantee that haze will not develop after PRK. It is important that you discuss all of your options with us before making a decision. To learn more about MMC, click here to read a recent major review of this subject co-authored by Dr. Majmudar and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, or review articles from the bibliographies of  Dr. Randy Epstein or Dr. Parag Majmudar.


AAO is one of the leading international organizations of refractive corneal surgeons, of which we are proud members. Ophthalmic surgeons have been performing refractive surgery for the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea) for approximately 100 years, but the past decades have produced rapid change and growth by means of refined techniques and the emergence of laser vision surgery. In 1978 a refractive procedure called Radial Keratotomy (RK) was introduced in the United States.

RK involves making a number of cuts in the cornea to change its shape and correct refractive errors. Following the introduction of RK, eye surgeons routinely corrected nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism using various applications of incisions on the cornea. In the 1980s a new type of laser called the excimer laser was developed.

Though originally used to etch computer chips, ophthalmologists began using the excimer laser successfully in refractive surgery techniques to remove very precise amounts of tissue from the eye’s surface. Excimer lasers revolutionized refractive surgery by providing a degree of safety and precision that was previously unattainable with other techniques. To learn more about the ISRS/AAO, click here.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
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Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
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Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
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exchange/phakic iol's
Keratoconus describes a cornea that weakens as collagen fibers deteriorate, causing the cornea to adapt a cone-like shape. Keratoconus can cause blurred vision, light sensitivity, glares, and decreased night vision. In its early stages, keratoconus may be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Keratoconus is also one of the most common reasons for corneal transplant, and one of the most successful. Call any of our offices and ask to speak to the Vision Correction Surgical Coordinator, or use the contact form below.
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It's estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don't even know it. People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name "silent thief of sight." Anyone can be at risk, so it's important to have your vision regularly examined.
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At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our doctors take great care in maintaining ocular health for our patients. However, a number of our patients voice concerns regarding soft lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other regions of the face. We have responded by introducing cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic through our Chicago practice.
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Dry eye can result from a lack of sufficient production of your own natural tears, with an inability to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can cause mild to severe discomfort including itching, stinging and burning. Dry eyes are a common concern in Chicago, and the experienced team of corneal specialists at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ have the latest advancements in technology to treat dry eye.
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Dry Eye
Contact lenses are medical devices which interact directly with the ocular surface of the eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we provide exceptional care to ensure that you obtain the best possible vision with contact lenses that fit appropriately and maximize health benefits.
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