PRK 2021-06-10T10:46:24-05:00

Be free from glasses and contacts with PRK in Harrisburg

A LASIK alternative for people with high prescriptions or who participate in physically demanding activities


PRK eliminates your need for glasses and contacts

In this video, we explain what PRK laser eye surgery is, how it works and how it compares to LASIK

Break free from the hassle of glasses


Ditch the barriers that separate you from the world

After PRK laser eye surgery, you’ll see the world through clear eyes without the barrier of glasses and contact lenses.

Feel invincible with self-reliant vision

Feel confident and ready for whatever life brings, without anxiety around your glasses and contact lenses getting in the way.

Relish every moment

Everyday feels like a new exciting adventure. Whether you enjoy swimming at Mt Gretna Lake & Beach, skiing Roundtop Mountain or attending a tasting event at Mellow Mink Brewing, poor vision and the hassle of glasses and contact lenses will never spoil your fun again.

Live it up with better vision

Be thrilled that you invested in yourself to make every day better with the amazing natural vision you deserve.

Ditch the barriers that separate you from the world

After PRK laser eye surgery, you’ll see the world through clear eyes without the barrier of glasses and contact lenses.

Feel invincible with self-reliant vision

Feel confident and ready for whatever life brings, without anxiety around your glasses and contact lenses getting in the way.

Relish every moment

Everyday feels like a new exciting adventure. Whether you enjoy swimming at Mt Gretna Lake & Beach, skiing Roundtop Mountain or attending a tasting event at Mellow Mink Brewing, poor vision and the hassle of glasses and contact lenses will never spoil your fun again.

Live it up with better vision

Be thrilled that you invested in yourself to make every day better with the amazing natural vision you deserve.

Be glasses-free in 3 easy steps


Contact us

The first step is to find out if LASIK is right for you. That’s why we offer a free first appointment. Give us a call on 717-657-2020 or use our easy online calendar to book a free appointment.

We’ll meet

Visit our laser eye surgery center in Harrisburg for a free assessment. We’ll give you a comprehensive eye examination and discuss your lifestyle needs. You’ll leave with a clear answer about the best treatment option for your eyes.

Be free!

In no time at all, you’ll be free to enjoy the world with brand new eyes – without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. Our patients tell us that every day is better and they can’t wait what’s next.

Be free from glasses and contacts even if you’re unsuitable for LASIK

PRK is for those who:

  • Want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
  • Are over 18 years of age
  • Have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
  • Have no health issues affecting their eyes
  • Have thin corneas, too thin for LASIK
  • Have a high prescription
  • Participate in physically demanding activities
PRK was the first procedure performed using the excimer laser.

The difference between LASIK and PRK is that with LASIK, we create a corneal flap and apply the laser to the inner tissue of the cornea. With PRK, we remove the epithelium (or outer layer of the cornea) and apply a laser to the surface of the cornea.

As with LASIK, PRK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However, the healing process is significantly longer than with LASIK.

While the vast majority of patients will qualify for and choose LASIK, PRK is an alternative for some patients who are not LASIK candidates.

To treat nearsightedness, we make the steep cornea flatter by removing tissue from the center of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from in front of the retina to directly on the retina.

To treat farsightedness, we make the flat cornea steeper by removing tissue outside of the central optical zone of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from behind the retina to directly on the retina.

To treat astigmatism, we make the cornea more spherical – like a basketball instead of a football. This eliminates multiple focusing points within the eye and creates one point of focus on the retina. we can treat astigmatism at the same time as nearsightedness and farsightedness.


  • PRK can treat patients with thinner corneas
  • PRK can treat patients with unusual corneal shapes
  • PRK can be used for LASIK retreatments


  • Longer healing time
  • More discomfort
  • Increased risk of infection
PRK risks include:

  • Under or overcorrections
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Temporary ocular discomfort

PRK is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. After PRK surgery, some patients experience some visual side effects, including light sensitivity, glare and halos. These visual side effects are usually temporary. Serious complications to PRK are extremely rare.

Since everyone heals somewhat differently, some patients may overreact to the procedure, and some may underreact, resulting in overcorrections and under corrections. Once the eye has stabilized (3 to 6 months) you and your doctor can discuss whether a re-treatment could help fine-tune your vision.

After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if PRK is an option for you. If you are a good candidate, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

PRK is not the only surgical procedure designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Depending on your suitability, options and alternatives include:

  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Implantable contact lenses
  • Refractive lens exchange

What to expect on surgery day

Step one: You will need to arrive at the laser center about an hour prior to your procedure. Once we have checked you in, we may offer you a sedative to help you relax. We will then prepare you for surgery.

Step two: We will clean and sterilise the area around your eyes and apply a drape.

Step three: We will use anaesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes; we will not use injections or needles.

Step four: When your eye is completely numb, we will place an eyelid holder between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

Step five: Next, your doctor will remove the epithelium, a thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea. You will be asked to look directly at a target light while the laser reshapes your cornea. The laser will be programmed with the information gathered in your pre-operative exam.

The laser treatment will be completed in less than a minute or two, depending on the amount of correction needed.

Step six: We then place a bandage contact lens on the eye for comfort and to facilitate the healing process.

Step seven: Following your procedure, we will examine your eye(s) with a slit lamp microscope.

Your vision may be blurry or hazy for one to five days. You will experience some discomfort as the epithelium heals and covers the treated area. We will prescribe you with eye drops and pain medication.

Most patients resume normal activities within three to five days. Excellent vision usually occurs within several weeks.

The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses.

The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their vision after PRK; they see 20/20 or better and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses.

Thousands of happy patients in Central PA


My wait time was minimal and I was pleased to note the furniture arrangement for social distancing and the sanitation practices in progress. All in all it was a much more relaxing experience than I anticipated and I was impressed by the procedures taken to assure safe practices for the safety of the patients and staff while reducing stress on the patients.


The doctor and his staff made my cataract surgeries a ‘piece of cake’. I have been coming here since I moved to Harrisburg 37 years ago. Dr. Chotiner performed cataract six years ago and my sight is as good as it was when I was young. As long as the light is reasonable, I do not even need over the counter reading glasses.

Claire B.

I was well taken care of. They took good care of my things. Dr. Erik Chotiner did an excellent job. I am so happy to see quite clearly with my eye that has macular degeneration.


Very happy with all the staff, from check in, check out and nursing in pre op. Amazing. Very clean facility. Dr. Chotiner is so efficient and fast. Would recommend him to everyone.

Vey L.

Excellent care and personal attention are provided at Memorial Eye. Hats off to Dr. E. Chotiner, nurses and staff for making my experience there so great!

Q. B.

I had cataract surgery and correction of an astigmatism. In one word……excellent!

Ray J.

As a rookie having my first visit at Memorial Eye in May 2020, I asked for a doctor that was patient and that is exactly what I got in Dr. Kowalski. He took his time and explained my options to me. My testing was extensive and thorough. The staff was very kind and made me feel relaxed during the surgery. A 5 star rating from beginning to end. Well done!


I am a first time patient at your practice. Everyone was so nice and knowledgeable. Overall it was a great experience. I did not realize how bad my vision was. I am amazed! The get well flowers were a nice touch!


The staff and doctor were very accommodating. Always on time, if not earlier with appointments. The surgical staff was very attentive to any needs such as extra blankets if needed, and making sure you were comfortable while you waited for your surgery.

Pam C

First time in 78 years I can see well without prescription lenses! I was apprehensive to have any elective surgery during the pandemic with my age and health history. The staff sensed it and made an effort to deal with it very professionally.


Wonderful practice with kind and supportive employees. The doctors are top notch and excellent!

A. Hendrix

I had my surgery done for a cataract and to correct my astigmatism. I can see better out of the eye that Dr Chotiner performed surgery on without the need for a corrective lens than I can see out of the other eye with my glasses on. The surgery was delayed because of the whole Covid virus closings, but when it was performed it went incredibly well and I could not be happier with the results.


I was somewhat jittery about returning to the office after the COVID restrictions were lifted. My concerns were put to rest from the moment I stepped through the door and was greeted by an associate who took my temperature, asked pertinent questions, and offered hand sanitizer, as well as being very friendly. The check in and co-pay payment went equally as smoothly.


My care for cataract removal was superb. The team in the surgical suite was very organized, efficient, and caring. Their expertise was so excellent. Everyone who works there was very skillful in their work and courteous. Dr. Chotiner is kind and extremely skilled. He was outstanding!


Surgery was quick and easy. Staff was very pleasant. Would recommend Dr. Chotiner very highly.

Patricia Scheidler

Service is very complete and professional. Dr. Erik Chotiner was very friendly and able to answer all of my questions. I am very pleased with service and will recommend.

A. Lawrence

I am so glad the doctor suggested LRI with my cataract surgery. I had never heard of it but it is amazing how my astigmatism is dissipating slowly and it is the reason I started wearing glasses 30 years ago! Even working around pandemic guidelines everyone is polite and cooperates as a team.


I would recommend Memorial Eye Institute and Dr. Erik Chotiner for their expertise. They are all very professional and caring for their patients. It was an excellent experience.

Joyce K.

I cannot thank Dr. Chotiner and his staff enough for what they have done for me. I had LASIK here 16 years ago and that was a life changing event for me. Prior to that, my vision was always poor and then (after surgery) it was great. Now I have cataracts and once again, getting the first eye done was a life changing experience.

Richard B.

I was very pleased with the efficiency and professionalism of the staff. You have a well oiled team. Everyone is very thorough. Thanks Dr. Rick and staff.


I am so happy at how good I can see now. Everyone was very professional and efficient. I feel my Dr is one of the best. I wouldn’t go to anyone else. Every one there was just great. Thank you so much.

Glenn C.

We have replaced the images of real patients who provided these testimonials to protect their privacy.

Can you be free from glasses and contacts?

The best way to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you is to get a free appointment. You’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and treatment options


Free yourself from glasses, contacts and cataracts

Discover if vision correction treatment can give you more confidence and convenience

I want to see glasses-free!

Life’s complicated enough these days. With all I’ve got going on, who’s got time for glasses and contact lenses too? Click here to see if you can become glasses-free…

I hate my reading glasses!

These things aren’t me at all. On, off, on, off… what a huge inconvenience to have to deal with day-in and day-out. Click here to find out if you can ditch your readers…

I’m too young for cataracts!

I’m busier than ever and want every day to be better. Ain’t nothing going to get in my way at this point in my life. Click here to see the options available to remove those cataracts…

“Why, why, why didn’t I get my eyes done sooner?”

Get your laser eye surgery questions answered

our harrisburg laser eye specialists give you the straight goods on the world’s most popular elective procedure

Academic resources on PRK


Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of refractive surgery. This kind of surgery uses a laser to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors. You have a refractive error when your eye does not refract (bend) light properly. Click here to read more.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) are both laser surgery techniques used to help improve eyesight. PRK has been around longer, but both are still widely used today. Click here to read more.

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of laser refractive surgery to correct myopia (short sightedness), hyperopia (long sightedness) and astigmatism.

PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and has been performed longer than LASIK, which has surpassed PRK in popularity.

Click here to read more.

Voted “Simply the Best” by the Harrisburg community

We are honoured to have received the following community awards

Affiliations and memberships

We’re proud to be members of these prestigious professional organisations

Discover if you’re suitable for LASIK laser eye surgery

Take our quick lifestyle suitability quiz to see if LASIK laser eye surgery could enhance every day of the rest of your life


Recognized leaders in Harrisburg eye surgery


Dr. Bennett Chotiner
M.D., F.A.C.S.


Dr. Bennett Chotiner is the founder and medical director of Memorial Eye Institute. A noted innovator, in 1977 he established his clinical practice, the Pennsylvania Eye Associates. In 1984, he established the Pennsylvania Eye Surgery Center, Pennsylvania’s first …

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Dr. Erik A Chotiner
M.D., F.A.C.S.


Erik Chotiner, M.D. diagnoses and treats a wide range of medical eye conditions. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Chotiner attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received multiple awards including the Physiology Prize for …

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Dr. Richard M. Kowalski
Dr. Richard M. KowalskiO.D
Dr. Kowalski is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations and contact lenses…

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Dr. Kenneth H. Levin
Dr. Kenneth H. LevinM.D.
Dr. Levin is a specialist in cataract surgery, glaucoma and general ophthalmology

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Dr. Bradford K. Sgrignoli
Dr. Bradford K. SgrignoliD.O
Dr. Sgrignoli is a specialist in retina and vitreous disease & surgery, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy…

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Dr. Michael J. Silvetti
Dr. Michael J. SilvettiO.D
Dr. Silvetti is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations, contact lenses and low vision consultations…

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Dr. Katherine Won
Dr. Katherine WonO.D
Dr. Won is a specialist in comprehensive eye care and contact lenses…

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