LASIK Alternatives

LASIK Isn’t the right fit for everyone,  so what are your options?

Smiling man outside with mountains in the background

Contacts, implants, surgery… what’s right for you?

Once you arrive at our Laser Vision Correction Center, we start with a comprehensive evaluation of your individual treatment options. Then we will discuss your options, what you’re most at ease with and which option is our recommendation based on your lifestyle. Sometimes it is LASIK, sometimes it’s a LASIK alternative and in some cases we’ll conclude that contacts or even a change in your prescription glasses is the safest solution for you. It’s your vision and the best treatment is a team effort with you and the trusted professionals at Delta Eye Medical Group in Stockton, Tracy and Lodi.


Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is performed at Delta Eye Medical Group for patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK. A highly successful LASIK alternative, PRK is especially useful when resolving low degrees of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

There are a variety of reasons why one of our physicians may recommend PRK over other treatments for our patients. In general, PRK is preferred over other treatments when the patient has any one of the following conditions:

  • Thin Cornea
  • Irregular Cornea
  • Scarred Cornea

Unlike LASIK, in which a hinged flap is created on the outer layer of the cornea, the corneal epithelium, PRK completely removes the corneal epithelium before reshaping the corneal tissue. Prior to the procedure, your Delta Eye surgeon numbs the cornea with topical anesthetic drops, then ablates the entire corneal epithelium with a cool, ultraviolet excimer laser. Next the computer-controlled excimer laser makes the appropriate adjustments needed to correct the refractive error. Post surgery, you must wear a bandage or specialized contact lenses to assist with proper regeneration of the corneal epithelium. Your doctor will also prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drops that prevent infections and reduce the likelihood of any post-operative complications.

Because the procedure completely removes the outer layer of the cornea, healing time is longer with PRK in comparison to other vision correction options. It takes between three to five days for complete regrowth of the corneal epithelium. Furthermore, improved visual acuity returns to PRK recipients slower than with LASIK. However, the long-term improvements associated with either PRK or LASIK are practically identical.


Photo-refractive Keratectomy Epithelial Keratomileusis (PRKEK), also called Laser-Assisted sub-Epithelial Keratectomy (LASEK) is a variant of PRK and another LASIK alternative available to our patients. LASEK is used when the cornea is too flat or thin for LASIK. In the LASEK procedure, the epithelium is removed with alcohol and saved to be replaced after the laser application. After removal of the epithelium, the surgeon positions the laser beam over the eye, directing light pulses to achieve the desired correction. The epithelial layer is placed back into position in the LASEK procedure. You can expect to achieve the same great results as LASIK with only a few differences.

With LASEK, a bandage contact lens is applied to help in the healing process and is usually kept in place for up to one week after the procedure. In some patients, this may provide more rapid healing than with PRK, although still not as rapid as LASIK. The healing process is usually slower and results take longer to achieve; usually up to one or two months. Most people experience discomfort following these procedures and a pain reliever is typically prescribed both in drop and pill form. The visual outcomes can be the same as with LASIK. Most patients return to work or normal daily activities within a few days.

To learn more about your LASIK alternative options, visit our Laser Vision Correction Centers in Stockton, Tracy or Lodi to speak to our staff!

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What our Patients Say

‍A few years ago, I decided to have laser eye surgery to correct my lifelong problem with nearsightedness.  Before that I always wore glasses or contacts.  I remember having frequent problems with contacts which would lead to problems with sunglasses or diving masks and the like.  when I chose to have eye surgery, I decided to go with Dr. Narvaez.  As a surgeon myself, I knew of his reputation and we had some patients in common and I was always impressed by his work.  Therefore, the choice was clear to me even though I knew many other Doctors who could do the procedure. After the procedure, I had excellent vision.  I love my new vision and enjoy being glasses and contacts free.  Dr. Narvaez is an excellent surgeon and I highly recommend him.

John Y. Kim, M.D.

Head and Neck Surgeon

What our Patients Say

I endorse my ophthalmologist, Julio Narvaez, MD.I have known him since moving to Loma Linda University in 2010.I was referred to him by a trusted friend and Ophthalmologist and was his patient; he is caring, bright and understood the problem and how I needed to be treated. He explained my options and allowed me to feel I had chosen my treatment while gently steering me the right direction. He was flexible when I asked to have my choice of anesthesia, which was local without sedation. He was not bothered by my continuous alertness during the surgery.

He is a bright and flexible surgeon, who makes excellent personal decisions and keeps perspective in his work and life.I would happily return to him for more care when needed.I endorse him without reservation and am glad to consider him a friend and colleague. Sincerely,

Dean A Hadley, MD Loma Linda University

Associate Professor of Urology, President of the Western Section of the American Urological Society

What our Patients Say

It’s amazing to have new technology nowadays. Previously, I had worn eyeglasses for over 35 years. After having Symfony lenses implanted into both eyes, it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to read almost everything without glasses. All the worries and fears prior to the surgery were for nothing. It’s awesome; my vision is clearer and better!  I’m so grateful to have a very good, knowledgeable, and hardworking team. My experiences with you will forever be in my heart. God is so good. He will always guide me all the way.