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PRK Surgery

Tired of depending on expensive contact lenses and cumbersome glasses in order to see clearly?

PRK laser eye surgery, or photorefractive keratectomy, can sharpen your vision and make prescription eyewear unnecessary.

Learn why Dr. Bruce Cohen of Cohen Eye Associates, Limited in St. Louis, MO, is the best ophthalmologist to perform your PRK procedure...

What Exactly Is PRK?

PRK is a laser eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping your cornea and allowing light to focus properly on your retina. It is similar to LASIK; the difference is that instead of creating a tissue flap in the cornea, the entire outer layer of the cornea is removed. Healing after PRK takes a few days longer than healing from LASIK, but the procedures are equally effective.

If you have been told that you don't qualify for LASIK due to having thin corneas or working in a profession with a high risk of corneal injury, PRK may be a suitable way to help you reduce or eliminate your need for glasses and contacts. During a consultation, Dr. Cohen can determine if this or another laser eye surgery is right for you.

Why Choose Our Doctor for PRK Eye Surgery?


Dr. Cohen is an esteemed eye surgeon who has provided superior, comprehensive eye care to St. Louis patients for over 40 years.


Our surgeon offers financing through CareCredit® to make PRK out-of-pocket costs more affordable. PRK is usually not covered by insurance.


Dr. Cohen uses the Visx Custom Wavefront Laser for unparalleled accuracy. This tool also allows us to precisely customize your surgery.

How Does Photorefractive Keratectomy Work?

  • Dr. Cohen, our experienced surgeon, will use a Visx Custom Wavefront Laser to reshape your cornea during a short outpatient procedure. This is performed at our state-of-the-art St. Louis, MO, practice.
  • PRK helps light rays that enter your eye focus more effectively on the surface of the retina, reducing or eliminating distorted vision.
  • The end result is sharper, clearer eyesight that may make contact lenses or prescription glasses a thing of your past. Contact our St. Louis, MO, office for a consultation with our doctors to learn more.

Are Most Patients Happy with the Results?

Recent studies, overseen by the FDA, show that 95 percent of PRK patients enjoy post-operative vision of at least 20/40. This is the vision requirement for driving without corrective lenses in most states. 

Want more proof? Check out the high percentage of satisfied PRK patients stated in this study by Cureus:

95% of PRK patients are satisfied with their results


CustomVue Treatment for Better Results

We use the Visx Wavescan system to detect even the smallest refractive errors our PRK surgery patients may have. The combination of this wavefront device and Star S4 Laser (known as CustomVue treatment) allows Dr. Cohen to accurately assess and treat previously undetectable visual disorders.

The FDA conducted clinical trials on patients who received refractive surgery using the Visx CustomVue procedure, discovering that 94% achieved vision that was 20/20 or better. Additionally, patients were four times more likely to say they were very satisfied with their new night vision than they had been with glasses or contact lenses. 

5 Stars for Dr. Bruce Cohen


Ruth Ann Henke


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Great office and great doctors. I have seen both Dr. Cohen and Dr. Noonan. I am very impressed with them, as well as all the staff. I feel confident in their expertise.

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Kimberly Seiber


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Dr. Cohen is an excellent clinician with decades of experience who truly cares about his patients. My husband and I are blessed to have Dr. Cohen taking great care of us and our eyes. Thank you.

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Meet Our St. Louis, MO, Surgeon

Dr. Bruce Cohen

Dr. Cohen's prestigious educational background, advanced eye surgery skill, and high standing in Missouri's medical community have made him an excellent choice to provide PRK surgery and other refractive procedures. He earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with highest honors in chemistry. He went on to receive his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University.

After completing internships and fellowships, Dr. Cohen became chief resident in ophthalmology at Barnes Hospital and chief of the University Eye Service at Washington University School of Medicine. Among his many honors, Dr. Cohen spent four years as a member of the board of trustees of the Missouri Ophthalmological Society, and earned membership in the International Society of Refractive Surgery. 

Bruce Cohen

Talk to Our St. Louis Team Today

The incredible vision improvements PRK provides can enhance your day-to-day life while minimizing the need to spend time and money on corrective lenses. Some patients who receive PRK don't need glasses or contacts at all following surgery. Others may only need them for very specific functions like nighttime driving. 

Dr. Cohen is a laser vision correction specialist who can determine if PRK is right for you. His quality of care has earned many honors, including a listing as one of the top 100 laser vision surgeons in the country by TLC Laser Vision Centers, Inc. Call or write to us today to request your PRK consultation. 

(314) 361-5003


St. Louis Loves Cohen Eye Associates


Carla Jackson


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Cohen Eye Associates, Limited, is the place to go, if you want your eyes to be in good hands. I trust them with my eyes, because they really do a thorough examination. I have been entrusting my eyesight to them for a few years now, and Dr. Noonan is the best. She really takes the time to explain thing to you, so that you will know exactly what's going on with your eyes. The staff is hilarious, they had my husband and me, laughing all the way out the door. I would highly recommend Cohen Eye Associates to my friends and family! Thanks guys for making my day.

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Jennifer King


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I have used this practice for probably 25 years or longer. They have never missed with my prescription, not once. They are very thorough.The person who actually assists with the frame selection does an awesome job. She considers the shape, color and how the prescription will work with the size and shape of the frame, and does not just push what is popular. Her work is very individually tailored.

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Why PRK Instead of LASIK?

Dr. Cohen will go over all your refractive surgery options during your initial consultation. PRK is generally recommended for:

Patients with Thin Corneas

Although both LASIK and PRK achieve the same vision-improving results, Dr. Cohen's patients with thinner corneas may not be good candidates for LASIK. Here's why:

LASIK requires a closable flap to be made in the top layer of the cornea so the excimer laser can reshape the eye tissue below. A thin cornea may make creating this flap difficult. PRK does not require a corneal flap. For this reason, PRK can be an effective alternative for patients who are not eligible for LASIK eye surgery.

Patients with Active Lifestyles

Certain hobbies, such as boxing and surfing, can put you at higher risk of injuring the eye. Patients with active lifestyles who choose LASIK have an increased risk of the flap becoming dislodged and other complications. For these patients, PRK is typically a safer choice than LASIK. Members of the military and similar occupations might also decide PRK is a better fit than LASIK for this reason.

A Look at the Procedure

Illustration showing stages of PRK eye treatment
In cases of nearsightedness or farsightedness, Dr. Cohen will reshape the cornea using our laser to improve your vision. For astigmatic patients, the curve of your cornea is sculpted into a more regular shape, reducing or eliminating blurriness and double vision.  

The PRK Timeline

You will first have a thorough eye exam with Dr. Cohen to discuss if PRK or LASIK will be best for your vision needs. Your overall health and medical history will be evaluated as well. Pregnant or nursing patients should delay the surgery until Dr. Cohen deems it safe. The PRK procedure follows several simple steps:

PRK can be completed in about 15 minutes.
PRK can be completed in about 15 minutes.
Topical anesthetic eye drops will be applied to your eyes. You should feel no discomfort after that.
Next, the doctor will use our excimer laser to remove the epithelial, or surface layer of corneal cells. Based on precise measurements taken at an earlier exam, he will then reshape the cornea.
After about 15 minutes, the surgery will be done and you can go home to rest. Please have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

PRK Candidacy

One of the first areas Dr. Cohen will assess is whether or not you have enough corneal tissue to support the reshaping of your eye. He will also evaluate your eye tissue for its general health, and likelihood of seamless healing. His many decades as a renowned ophthalmologist also give him insight into how your personal medical history will impact your PRK success. 

The best way to determine if you are a great candidate for transformative PRK surgery is having a consultation with Dr. Cohen at our St. Louis office. He understands the key factors to evaluate and can create a trusting surgeon-patient relationship from day one. He can also let you know if LASIK or another procedure is more suitable for your needs. Give us a call at ___ or write to our team of eye experts to request your potentially life-changing consultation. 

(314) 361-5003


Photorefractive Keratectomy Recovery Time

PRK patients will have blurry vision for about a week until the top corneal layer grows back. This is because, unlike LASIK, PRK does not leave a protective flap over the cornea.

Fully stabilized vision will be achieved in about a month. You may experience some mild pain after surgery, so Dr. Cohen will prescribe pain medications and eye drops as needed to relieve discomfort.

Photorefractive Keratectomy Following Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can often cause cloudy vision. In some cases, patients require cataract surgery to return to clear sight. Unfortunately, some cataract surgeries can result in residual refractive errors that lead to persistently obstructed vision. The good news is that we can perform PRK to correct refractive errors you may be experiencing following cataract surgery elsewhere.

A comprehensive study published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology found PRK to be safe and effective for correcting refractive errors caused during cataract surgery. Visual improvements were found to be stable and long-term for patients with and without astigmatism. 

More Satisfied St. Louis Patients


Lisa Pletz


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Love the caring, cheerful, & helpfulness of this staff ! Had all the answers I needed. Even though my appointment was on a holiday they didn’t seem to mind at all

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Barry Hollander


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I recently had cataract surgery performed by Doctor Cohen, at Cohen Eye Associates, Limited. I must say that the entire experience was excellent! The office personnel were knowledgeable, professional and very helpful. They addressed my concerns regarding eye surgery and made me feel perfectly comfortable with the upcoming procedures. The two eye cataract procedures performed by Doctor Cohen were flawless, with no pain experienced whatsoever. I am absolutely 100% pleased with the results for both eyes. In closing, thank you so much Doctor Cohen for restoring my great eyesight!

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The doctors at Cohen Eye Associates, Limited

Cohen Eye Associates, Limited

At Cohen Eye Associates in St. Louis, MO, our team offers a full-service optical shop to address all of your vision needs. We can provide you and your family a range of eye care services, from LASIK and cataract surgery to glaucoma treatment. Our doctors are members of national professional organizations including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Glaucoma Society
  • American Optometric Association

To schedule an appointment with our eye care specialists, contact us online or call us at (314) 361-5003.

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Saint Louis Office

4921 Parkview Place
Ste 14 F
St. Louis, MO 63110

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