what is Lasik and PRK Surgery?

Are you tired of struggling with uncomfortable contact lenses or fumbling with glasses? LASIK and PRK are options that you can consider. Utilizing the Wavefront Technology for Custom LASIK and IFS Intralase (Blade-Free) technology, and Custom PRK, Dr. Haverly has helped thousands of patients achieve outstanding results.

LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) are laser eye surgeries that reshape the cornea so that images focus correctly on the retina to improve your vision. The procedures are effective for many patients with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. Laser Eye Surgery of Erie follows the 3 steps detailed below to give you the best vision possible. 1) Consultation 2) Evaluation and 3) Surgery Day

LASIK and PRK surgery

3 steps to better vision



Surgery Day

step 01


Your first step is a Consultation. This appointment will take 30-45 minutes depending on how many questions you have. We will perform two baseline tests to determine if your eyes meet the general criteria. If you wear contact lenses then you will remove them for the tests.

There is no fee for this appointment. Potential patients should be at least 18 years old, not pregnant or nursing.

step 02

Evaluation (Pre-op testing)

Your second step is a Pre-Surgical Evaluation (EVAL). This appointment will take approximately 2-2.5 hours and your eyes will be dilated. A series of tests and screenings will be performed before you meet with the surgeon. If you wear contact lenses you will have to stop wearing them prior to this appointment. The doctor will determine when you should stop wearing contacts. The general guidelines are 14 days for standard and Toric soft lenses and 28 days for hard or gas permeable lenses. The fee for this appointment is $100.

step 03

Surgery day

For your comfort and convenience, the surgery suite is located within our office. You will need someone to drive you to and from the office.   You should plan to be at our office for approximately one hour.

Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops and you will be given a mild sedative will help you feel relaxed. Betadine will be placed in and around your eyes.  During LASIK, the femtosecond iFS laser interface is placed on the eye.  At this time, you will feel the suction from the laser interface.  Your vision will become very blurred or go black briefly.  This is normal.  When the iFS laser treatment is completed, Dr. Haverly will then gently separate and lift the corneal flap that the iFS laser created.  After the corneal flap is lifted, the Visx STAR 4 excimer laser will re-shape the inner corneal tissue to correct the aberrations or irregularities. Changing the shape of the inner tissue will change how light focuses on your retina to improve your vision.  You will most likely have a strange or bad smell from the second laser.  This is from the laser plume.  You will also see bright lights.

When the treatment is completed, the corneal flap is set back into place. It will seal to itself without sutures during healing. This process takes 10-15 minutes per eye and most patients will leave the office shortly after their procedure.

The majority of patients will observe a striking improvement in their vision shortly after their procedure. Maximum improvement will occur over the next 3-5 weeks. All patients will use steroid, antibiotic and lubricating eye drops after surgery to ensure that the eye heals properly.

It is very important not to rub your eyes after the procedure.  Most videos tell patients to go to sleep when you arrive home from your procedure, but when you are sleeping you are most likely to rub your eyes.  We recommend resting and not going into a deep sleep right away.  When you do go to sleep be sure to wear protective goggles.  The first night we recommend taping the goggles “down” with medical tape.


What does LASIK and PRK surgery correct?

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Commonly known as nearsightedness, myopia occurs when the curvature of the cornea is too steep. As light enters the eye, this causes the visual image to focus in front of the retina, resulting in a blurred or distorted view.


A common imperfection in the eye caused by a deviation from spherical curvature. Which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus point.

Hyperopia (farsightedness)

Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia occurs when the cornea is too flat or the length of the eyeball is too short. As light enters the eye, the visual image focuses behind the retina, resulting in a blurred or distorted view.

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.


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 we think of laser vision correction surgery LASIK is the first procedure that comes to mind, but don’t forget about Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK.  PRK  is a surface treatment option that corrects visual errors without creating a flap. PRK is in no way inferior to LASIK – in fact, in some patients PRK is a superior treatment.

The same wavefront guided laser is used to correct the vision. There is no difference in the visual outcome between LASIK and PRK. In fact, PRK is the preferred procedure in patients with thinner corneas, in patients with corneal irregularities, and in patients with stronger prescriptions.  PRK is also preferred if you are involved with high impact activities such as boxing and MMA fighting to name a few.  PRK may also be preferred over LASIK in patients in certain professions such as law enforcement or the military.

Before the procedure, anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. Betadine is then placed on and around your eyes.  During the procedure, an instrument 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 (the corneal epithelium) and uses an excimer laser to apply computer-controlled pulses of light energy to reshape the cornea.

After PRK is completed, Dr. Haverly inserts a bandage contact lens to protect the cornea as the epithelial layer grows back over the next 3-5 days. This also helps decrease the discomfort experienced during this time, which is generally mild to moderate. You will have  a foreign body sensation in the eye. Patients usually experience tearing, sensitivity to light and a moderate amount of blurred vision. These phenomena are typically worst on the second and third days after the procedure, but improve greatly by the fourth and fifth days as the surface layer of the cornea grows back. During this time, lubricating and medicated drops are prescribed to help decrease discomfort, heal the cornea, and decrease the risk of scar formation and infection.

The cornea heals from the edges towards the center, forming a “ridge” of epithelium across the pupil where the healing tissues meet. This ridge usually has formed by the fourth or fifth day, and it is safe to remove the bandage contact lens. The vision is much improved by this time, generally ranging between 20/30 and 20/50, depending on the magnitude of the corrective treatment done. As the ridge of epithelium smooths out over the next 4-6 weeks, the vision will gradually improve.  It is important to note the prednisolone (steroid) drop should be taken for four weeks after PRK.