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PRK Surgery in Chicago, IL

At the Kraff Eye Institute, Dr. Colman Kraff leverages the latest technologies in corrective eye surgery to greatly improve patients’ vision. Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is a surgical procedure similar to LASIK. At our Chicago office, highly accurate results are achieved through PRK, which is suitable for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, considerably decreasing their dependence on glasses and contact lenses.

What is PRK?

Approved by the FDA in 1996, Photo Refractive Keratectomy, also known as PRK, is a surgical procedure performed at the Kraff Eye Institute. The goal is the same as LASIK, to help patients live their lives being less dependent on their glasses or contact lenses.

Much like LASIK, PRK helps patients who have myopia (nearsighted), hyperopia (farsighted) and high levels of astigmatism. The iDesign advanced wavefront guided technology, which is the same software used in LASIK, helps Dr. Kraff achieve highly accurate results.

PRK is a quicker procedure then LASIK, because we skip the process where we make a flap on the surface of the cornea. Once completely healed, the outcomes between the procedures are the same.

PRK Consultation

On the day of the initial consult, you should plan on being in our office for about an hour. During this time, we will perform a series of measurements including: a diagnostic analysis of the front surface of the eye, measuring corneal thickness, and checking vision. Dr. Kraff will examine your eyes and look at the measurements to let you know if you are a candidate for refractive surgery. One of our refractive counselors will go over the qualifying procedure in detail and answer any questions you might have regarding the surgery. The refractive counselor will discuss scheduling and finance options.

Should you decide to move forward with surgery, you will need to come back for a pre-operative exam. At the pre-op exam, you will have in-depth measurements performed to help Dr. Kraff calculate your exact refractive treatment. The refractive counselor will let contact lens wearers know the specified period to be out of lenses prior to the pre-op and surgery.

PRK Surgery Procedure

On the day of surgery, we advise patients they should plan on being in our office for about 2 hours. This will give the patient time to check-in, have additional testing done if needed, allow time for a mild oral sedative to help relax you, perform the procedure, and then review all post-operative information.

Types of PRK Procedures Provided at Kraff Eye Insitute

PRK surgery can improve the vision of patients with a variety of refractive errors. At the Kraff Eye Insitute, we determine if our patients qualify for the PRK procedure and also offer Custom PRK. Please, learn more about our PRK procedures below and schedule a consultation to see if you are a good candidate.

The main difference between a LASIK and PRK procedure is how we prepare the cornea for the actual LASER treatment. The patient will be given several sets of numbing drops to help create a painless procedure. Like with LASIK, we treat one eye at a time. Dr. Kraff will use a small instrument to gently keep your eyelid open. With PRK, instead of making a flap on the surface of the cornea, Dr. Kraff will use a surgical instrument which will gently brush off the surface cells of the cornea. This takes about 5 to 10 seconds and the patient will feel some mild vibrations but no pain or discomfort. Once the cells are brushed off, Dr. Kraff will then use the laser to re-shape the cornea to improve your vision. The laser treatment is usually less than 1 minute. Once completed, Dr. Kraff will place a soft bandage contact lens on the eye. He will then begin the same process on the other eye. The entire procedure, for both eyes, is around 10 minutes.

After the procedure is over, your post-operative instructions will be reviewed in detail and Dr. Kraff will take one final look at your eyes before you leave. The patient is encouraged to go home and try and sleep as much as possible. Once the surface of the cornea is healed, Dr. Kraff will remove the bandage contact lens. The lens is usually removed within 2 to 3 days post-surgery.

Consultation Appointment

To schedule a PRK consultation, please call (312) 444-1111. To inquire about other services, please fill out our Vision Correction Consultation form.

PRK Recovery Timeline

With LASIK, the flap that is created works like a natural band aid to help expediate the healing process. With PRK, since there is no flap, the healing process is different. As mentioned above, once the procedure is completed, Dr. Kraff will place a soft bandage contact lens on the patient’s eye. This lens will stay in place over the first couple of days while the epithelium, or surface layer of the cornea, heals. The epithelium is the top layer of the cornea which is gently brushed off prior to the LASER treatment.

During the first 2 to 3 days following PRK, a patient is encouraged to do very minimal activities; no work, no reading, no staring at computer screens, no exercise. There can be some discomfort during the initial healing period, but a patient will be given oral pain medication to help minimize the pain.

After about 3 days, enough of the epithelium has regenerated that Dr. Kraff will go ahead and remove the bandage contact lens. Once removed, the patient can go back to most of their normal activities.


Here at the Kraff Eye Institute, we pride ourselves on always doing what we feel is safest for the patient. Certain structural characteristics can sometimes disqualify a patient from being a good candidate for surgery. It is important when looking for a doctor to go with someone who is more concerned with safety then making a profit. If Dr. Kraff feels that surgery is not safe, based off your measurements, he will discuss safe alternative options if appropriate.

Reviews For PRK Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


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How Much Does A PRK Procedure Cost?

There is a difference between the cost of a LASIK and a PRK procedure. The reason for this is because with LASIK, there’s two different lasers being used. There’s the LASER that creates the flap and then there’s the LASER that reshapes the cornea. With PRK, we only utilize the LASER that reshapes the cornea. Because operating costs are less with a PRK procedure, we factor that into our pricing. When here for an initial consultation, our Refractive Counselor will go over the cost of both procedures.

Financial Options

Kraff Eye Institute has researched the best credit options and is proud to announce a partnership with CareCredit, America’s top patient payment program. CareCredit allows you to start your vision care procedures at once – then pay for it at your convenience with low monthly payments that are easy to fit in your monthly budget.

Please call our office at (312) 444-1111 for more details.

Dr. Colman R. Kraff

About Your Doctor

Specializing In Refractive Eye Surgeries For Over 25 Years

Dr. Colman Kraff has been at the forefront of LASER eye surgery since the beginning. Having personally performed over 70,000 LASER procedures, he is one of the most reputable and skilled surgeons anywhere.

Dr. Kraff works closely with industry manufactures as a principle investigator and consultant. As a result, he actively participates in the most recent FDA trials to ensure the best and most precise technology is available to patients.

Dr. Kraff was born and raised in Chicago. He enjoys running and photography, as well as, spending time with his wife, children, and granddaughter.

PRK Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PRK success rate?

Since the LASER used to correct a patient’s vision is the same between LASIK and PRK, outcome results will be the same once the healing process is complete. As in LASIK, it is uncommon to need an enhancement procedure with PRK. Overall, this is needed less than 3% of the time.

What is PRK recovery time?

Patients can resume most of their normal activities once the bandage contact lens is removed. Dr. Kraff usually removes this lens in office after the top layer of the cornea is healed in roughly 2 to 3 days following surgery. Sometimes the lens is left in place for a few days longer to enhance the healing process, but even in those circumstances, the patient can resume almost all normal activities.

Can you fly after the PRK surgery?

With PRK we recommend patients wait 1 week for any type of travel

Can PRK be repeated?

If there are visual changes post-surgery, or the results can be improved, Dr. Kraff will assess whether an enhancement procedure is safe for a patient. If the patient continues to fall within treatable perimeters, PRK can be performed again.

What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) and LASIK (Laser in-situ Keratomileusis) both utilize the VISX Excimer Laser to remove corneal tissue in order to re-shape the cornea. In the PRK procedure, the laser works on the surface of the cornea. With LASIK, Dr. Kraff will first create a flap on the cornea using the IntraLase Femtosecond Laser. Once created, Dr. Kraff will then lift the flap and use the VISX Excimer Laser to re-shape the cornea. After the laser treatment, Dr. Kraff will re-align the flap, putting it back in the same position it was prior to surgery. The flap will work like a natural band-aid to help expedite the healing process. Dr. Colman Kraff has performed over 70,000 laser vision correction procedures since 1991. When here for your initial consultation, Dr. Kraff will determine which technique is the safest for you.

Schedule Consultation

To schedule a complimentary LASIK consultation, please click Schedule LASIK Consultation. To inquire about other services, please fill out the form below and we will reach out to you.
Please check with your insurance provider to see if our doctors are in your network.

Request a Consultation 312-444-1111
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