What Is Laser Vision Correction?

Laser vision correction is the most common refractive surgery done today. Millions of patients have undergone one of two procedures—LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) or PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy). These correct refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In these procedures, a precise excimer laser permanently reshapes the cornea, the transparent surface or “window” of the eye. Both procedures produce excellent outcomes, each with their own distinct advantages that suit different patients’ needs.

Watch this video about all-laser, blade-free LASIK technology :


In the LASIK procedure, a femtosecond laser first creates a precise, thin flap of cornea tissue. (At Pacific Medical Centers, we use this blade-free, advanced technology because it is safer and more accurate than the traditionally used microkeratome blade.)

The flap is then gently lifted, so that a second excimer laser can be used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then put back into its original position. It re-adheres naturally, so recovery is fairly rapid. You can learn more details at the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Most LASIK patients can go to work the next day.

Femtosecond laser

Femtosecond laser, used to create a precise, thin flap of cornea tissue

About PRK

PRK is sometimes recommended when a patient has a history of dry eyes, has a cornea that’s too thin for LASIK or participates in contact sports such as martial arts or boxing.

In PRK, the surface layer of cells of the cornea—called epithelial cells—is gently removed before the customized excimer laser reshapes the cornea. You can learn more details at the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Patients usually return to work 5 to 7 days after surgery.

Excimer laser

Excimer laser reshaping the cornea

About Advanced, Custom (Wavefront) Laser Technology

In both LASIK and PRK, we use wavefront measurements to identify subtle irregularities in your eye. We can then create a blended and custom laser treatment. Long-term studies have shown that LASIK and PRK produce equally excellent results. You can learn more details at the Frequently Asked Questions page.