Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA/PRK)

Not everyone who comes to see Dr. Kerry Solomon for a LASIK surgery consultation is a good candidate for the procedure. People with severely dry eyes, thin corneas, a high degree of myopia, or other conditions may be better suited for PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy) surgery, commonly referred to as ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation), at our Charleston, SC practice. Like LASIK, PRK/ASA reshapes the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Unlike LASIK, no flap is created during the PRK/ASA procedure. Instead, the epithelium – the thin outermost layer of cells – is gently removed, and the laser is used to reshape the surface of the cornea.

If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate for ASA/PRK surgery, request an appointment at one of our Charleston, SC locations. Dr. Solomon and/or Dr. Hood will help determine your best options for vision correction. You may also call us at (843) 881-3937 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.

What Is ASA/PRK?

PRK is similar to LASIK in that it produces very predictable, successful outcomes and utilizes much of the same technology and techniques. PRK actually pre-dates LASIK, having been approved by the FDA in 1995. Dr. Solomon performed the first PRK procedure in the state of South Carolina in 1994, and he is one of the country’s leading authorities on ASA/PRK.

Like LASIK, PRK is a refractive procedure that utilizes an excimer laser to precisely reshape the cornea. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that, during a LASIK procedure, a flap is created, folded back for treatment and then replaced.

Many patients have corneas that are too thin to support the creation of this flap, which is typically about 20% of the thickness of the cornea. PRK offers the same benefits of LASIK surgery to those with thin corneas or significant myopia because it only requires removing the top surface layer of cells (the epithelium).

"...After wearing contacts and glasses for nearly 31 years, I still surprise myself with how well I can see...."

- LASIK Patient of Dr. Solomon

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What to Expect From ASA/PRK Surgery

Dr. Solomon uses much of the same advanced technology for PRK that he uses for LASIK. The primary difference is that, instead of using a laser to make a flap, PRK surgery begins with the application of a topical solution to dissolve the outermost layer of cells on the surface of the eye. Dr. Solomon then uses the computer-guided excimer laser, which reshapes the corneal tissue to the precise specifications of your eye’s topography. Afterwards, a cooling solution is applied to the cornea and a bandage contact lens is applied. This lens stays in place for several days while the epithelial cells regenerate.

Dr. Solomon and his staff take great care to explain to PRK patients how their experiences will differ from the typical LASIK patient’s experience. It is important to note that, because there is no protective flap, PRK patients’ recoveries are typically a little longer than that of LASIK patients. PRK patients may experience:

  • Moderate discomfort for the first 24 to 72 hours
  • Longer recuperation – 2 to 5 days, as opposed to 1 day with LASIK
  • A slightly increased risk of eye infection and haziness of vision in the first few days after surgery

ASA/PRK patients will be seen the day after surgery, then 4 days after, and 1 to 2 weeks after.

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Kerry Solomon, MD

Most experienced LASIK &
Laser Cataract Surgeon in SC

A leader in ophthalmic research and education, Dr. Solomon is often
the first in the state to have access to new technology, which he
uses to achieve optimal results for his patients.

Meet Dr. Solomon