Laser Eye Surgery of Erie

All laser (blade free) Custom LASIK and PRK

At Laser Eye Surgery of Erie, Dr. Robert Haverly uses the most advanced eye surgery technology for our patients. By utilizing CUSTOM BLADE-FREE LASIK and CUSTOM PRK, we offer safe and precise vision correction.  Here, we have an in depth look at LASIK and PRK.


Dr. Robert F. Haverly uses IFS Intralase Blade-free LASIK technology for greater control and maximum customization. Standard LASIK uses a blade to cut the cornea and create a flap prior to the laser treatment. With IFS IntraLase, a femtosecond laser creates the flap, which is more precise, predictable, and programmable. This improves patient safety and outcomes. 

In clinical trials, more patients achieved 20/20 vision or better with Blade-Free LASIK. Patients reported better quality vision overall, especially with low light or night vision.


When people speak of custom LASIK and custom PRK, they are referring to Wavefront technology. This technology has made vision clearer for LASIK surgery patients. Originally invented by NASA for use in high-powered precision telescopes, Wavefront technology has been used in LASIK vision correction since 2005.  iDESIGN laser vision correction is an exciting new procedure that incorporates WaveScan Wavefront technology and the patented, FDA-approved VISX4 laser to create a highly effective, personalized treatment plan for patients.  The doctor is able to measure the way light travels through your entire optical pathway and compare it to the way light travels through an optically perfect eye. This creates a 3-D map of your cornea that is as unique to you as your fingerprint.  This customized “fingerprint” is transferred electronically to the laser, enabling Dr. Haverly to give you the best vision possible.


When contemplating laser vision correction surgery, most people immediately think of LASIK. However, it’s essential not to overlook Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, which offers a valuable alternative. PRK is a surface treatment that effectively corrects visual errors without creating a flap, making it an excellent choice for various patients. In fact, PRK is superior to LASIK for many patients.

PRK utilizes the same wavefront-guided laser technology to correct vision, ensuring no discernible difference in the final visual outcome between the two procedures. In some cases, PRK surpasses LASIK, especially for individuals with thinner corneas, corneal irregularities, or more substantial prescription corrections. Additionally, PRK is often the preferred option for individuals engaged in high-impact activities such as boxing and MMA fighting. It also finds favor in certain professions, including law enforcement and the military.

Here’s a step-by-step overview of the PRK procedure:

  1. Preparation: Prior to the procedure, anesthetic drops are applied to numb the eye. Betadine is then carefully applied to and around the eyes to ensure sterility.
  2. Procedure: During the PRK procedure, an instrument gently holds the eyelid open, and the patient is asked to focus on a target light. Dr. Haverly then removes the surface layer of the cornea, known as the corneal epithelium. Subsequently, an excimer laser is employed to deliver computer-controlled pulses of light energy to reshape the cornea, correcting the refractive error.
  3. Post-Procedure: Following PRK, Dr. Haverly inserts a bandage contact lens, serving as a protective barrier as the epithelial layer naturally regenerates over the next 3-5 days. This contact lens also helps alleviate any mild to moderate discomfort that patients may experience during this period. Common post-PRK sensations include a foreign body sensation in the eye, tearing, sensitivity to light, and moderate blurred vision. These discomforts typically peak on the second and third days post-procedure but significantly improve by the fourth and fifth days, coinciding with the reformation of the corneal surface layer.
  4. Medication: To facilitate healing, decrease discomfort, and minimize the risk of scarring and infection, Dr. Haverly prescribes lubricating and medicated eye drops. It’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed regimen.
  5. Healing Process: The cornea heals from its edges toward the center, forming a noticeable “ridge” of epithelium across the pupil where the healing tissues converge. This ridge typically develops by the fourth or fifth day after PRK, allowing for the safe removal of the bandage contact lens. At this stage, vision has noticeably improved, usually ranging between 20/30 and 20/50, depending on the extent of the corrective treatment. Over the next 4-6 weeks, as the ridge of epithelium smooths out, vision gradually continues to improve.
  6. Medication Continuation: It’s important to emphasize that the prescribed prednisolone (steroid) eye drops should be consistently taken for four weeks following PRK to support optimal healing and recovery.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a highly effective and versatile vision correction procedure, offering advantages in specific patient populations and situations. By following the recommended post-operative care and medication regimen, patients can expect a successful and comfortable recovery, ultimately leading to improved vision.