PRK in Washington DC and the DMV

Congratulations on taking your first step toward visual freedom! At Brusco Vision, we believe that everyone deserves the freedom and flexibility of having clear vision without corrective lenses. We encourage you to do your research before making the life-changing decision to undergo refractive surgery in order to live a life free from the barriers of glasses and contact lenses. We want you to feel comfortable and confident with your choice to permanently regain your clear vision. It is our goal to address as many of your questions or concerns as possible before you proceed.

Believe it or not, our goal is not to convince you to have ASA PRK (photorefractive keractectomy) — or one of its other 5 modern variations — it is to give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Call our office for more information or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam to see if PRK is the right vision correction procedure for you.


While SBK LASIK surgery is a highly effective option for many people, it is not the best option for better vision for everyone. For those who aren’t a candidate for LASIK, there are several other excellent vision correction procedures at Brusco Vision that may still free you from glasses and contacts. Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) – the modern update of Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) – is a LASIK alternative that is typically reserved for a subset of laser eye surgery candidates who have special considerations. It is preferable for patients with thin corneas, minor corneal irregularities, scarring, for patients with specific hobbies such as contact sports or occupations such as particular branches of the armed forces, or for those with keratoconus who have already had crosslinking performed.

A Highly Precise Technique that Delivers Exceptional Outcomes

ASA has been shown to provide equivalent vision to SBK LASIK in many studies without the need for any type of corrective lens. Just like the SBK LASIK procedure, ASA is a highly precise technique that delivers exceptional outcomes with accuracy and precision and is a time-tested procedure with proven results. Unlike SBK LASIK, the recovery timeline with ASA laser surgery is generally longer (several days instead of several hours), and the postoperative period may be slightly uncomfortable.

There’s good news. If you want to be less dependent on eyeglasses or contacts, you may have several other options. One of the most common is called PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) and many who do not qualify for LASIK can have PRK with similar excellent results.
- University of Utah Health

What is the Difference Between ASA and SBK LASIK?

ASA PRK is used to correct refractive errors and is essentially LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) without a corneal flap. PRK was FDA approved in the United States for the human eye in 1995 and is the surgery procedure that was developed directly before LASIK. It was the first type of ophthalmology surgery to use a laser to operate on the cornea.

Eye doctors have performed millions of PRK procedures worldwide since its inception 30 years ago. Like SBK LASIK, it corrects vision by reshaping the corneal tissue to correct nearsightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Instead of using a femtosecond laser to prepare the cornea for treatment, ASA is performed by gently removing the epithelium (outer skin layer of the cornea). Then the excimer laser is applied to the surface of the cornea, and your vision is corrected in the same manner as with SBK LASIK eye surgery. The outer surface of the eye is reshaped to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. After the laser has fully reshaped the eye, a special contact lens is placed to protect the cornea while the epithelium heals underneath.

Just as with SBK LASIK, no sharp instruments are used during ASA. Advanced Surface Ablation is a very effective alternative to SBK LASIK for improving visual perception at Brusco Vision laser center in Washington DC and the DMV. To discuss your unique needs, eye health, and any concerns, schedule a consultation for more information about ASA PRK.

How Do I Know if ASA is Right for Me?​

ASA at Brusco Vision in Washington, D.C. and the DMV is an excellent solution for someone who is at least 18 years of age with a stable vision refraction and is seeking a safe and effective alternative to glasses or contacts. The same Food and Drug Administration approved lasers that are used in SBK LASIK are also used in ASA. It is true that an ASA surgical procedure is not recommended as often as SBK LASIK. This is simply because the recovery time is longer. During your initial consultation at Brusco Vision, with our advanced ocular and vision analysis (ANOVA), you will experience a thorough diagnostic examination and meet with Dr. Brusco to determine if you are a PRK candidate and if this procedure is best for you.

Benefits of ASA

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Did you know that laser vision correction is safer than wearing contacts? Over the long term, you’re several times more likely to develop a serious eye infection from wearing contact lenses than from the one time experience of ASA. Never worry about leaving your contacts in too long again with laser vision correction!

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Save Money

While the cost of a vision correction procedure does come with an initial upfront investment, do you know how much you’re already spending on glasses and contacts? Try our cost calculator to see how it adds up over time.

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Live more independently without any plastic affixed to your eyes to function. Experience the sense of relief with not having to deal with contacts, glasses, or solutions to manage. Just wake up and see. Pack and go. Dive in and swim. Laser vision correction better accommodates a busy, active lifestyle.

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Save Time

Eliminate the need to clean your contact lenses or continually wipe your glasses free of smudges. Laser vision correction frees up 5-10 more minutes of your day to avoid these annoying tasks. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 45 hours. What would you do with that extra time?

My name is Dr. Gary Gydush and I had a one eye PRK procedure gone bad elsewhere, in 1995. The ablation was not centered and largely over-corrected … I had poor vision as a result. After many conversations with Dr. Michael Brusco, and a two-part procedure diagnosis, I have much more normal vision now and a usable eye. I am eternally grateful for his help and expertise, and would recommend him to any patient wanting refractive surgery. You won’t regret it.
Dr. Gary Gydush, OD
Optometrist, Lancaster, PA

Reasons to Have ASA at Brusco Vision

ASA Day of Surgery

On the day of the PRK procedure, patients can expect to be in our office for 2 hours. While the entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes, the laser portion of the treatment is completed in only a few seconds. The visual freedom our patients obtain, however, can last a lifetime.


Step One

Several tests may be repeated to verify measurements. An optional mild sedative is offered to patients and anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eye. A small, gentle eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the procedure.


Step Two

Dr. Brusco gently polishes off the epithelium to prepare the cornea for treatment.


Step Three

Dr. Brusco then applies the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct the vision.

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Step Four

A temporary soft contact lens is then placed on the eye to help with healing for several days.

Recovery Time

While the procedure itself is virtually painless, the PRK recovery time is longer than with SBK LASIK. The immediate recovery period after ASA PRK is typically 48-72 hours after surgery, at which time patients sometimes report itchiness and discomfort. This happens while your body’s natural stem cells heal over the laser-treated area.

Patients should refrain from any activity that can cause eye strain for the first 24 hours after PRK eye surgery. Reading, using a computer, watching TV or movies, and other activities that could strain your eyes fall under this category. The healing process will go more smoothly if you rest your eyes on the first day. As healing further progresses, patients’ vision will continue to improve for up to 30 days or more post-surgery. Your eye surgeon will advise you on when it is ok to return to normal activities at your follow up care appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both LASIK and PRK procedures are safe. ASA is better suited for those who might not be good LASIK candidates with certain types of eyes, such as those with thin corneas, scarring, or certain irregularities. The US military has fully adopted both ASA and SBK LASIK as minimally invasive vision correction solutions with very low risk of complications.

Absolutely. ASA treats astigmatism in addition to myopia and hyperopia.

No, the changes with ASA are permanent. However, around age 45, most people begin to have difficulty seeing up close (presbyopia). This occurs whether they’ve had ASA or not. If you are close to this age, we’ll take that into consideration in determining your best vision correction options.

You will not feel any pain during your procedure. However, a subset of patients can expect to experience discomfort during the healing process lasting about a day, starting 1-3 days after the procedure. Your refractive surgeon may prescribe oral analgesics, eye drops, or a different type of pain medication to help with any discomfort.

The lasers used at Brusco Vision are equipped with features to limit eye movements or monitor the position of your eye, making necessary adjustments for any position changes during the treatment process. Even if you coughed, for example, our excimer laser would automatically stop and later resume exactly where it left off. In addition, a gentle eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids, so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the procedure.

The procedure takes about 10 minutes to complete for both eyes, but the laser portion is only seconds per eye. Many patients are surprised by how quick the process really is.

No, it doesn’t. However, ASA is a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account procedure. If your company offers a health or flexible spending account, you can generally use it to pay for ASA.

Because of the particular technique involved, the visual recovery with ASA takes longer than with our other vision correction solutions – days rather than hours. Most of our ASA patients have enough vision to drive comfortably within 3-7 days. The vision continues to clear and improve even more over the next several weeks.

The best enhancement method for post-cataract surgery residual refractive error may be ASA PRK laser eye surgery. For the treatment of post-cataract residual refractive errors, PRK can be considered a safe and successful therapy.

Yes, you can. However, it might not be necessary. Refractive lens exchange actually gives you the best of both worlds.

Because the corneal nerves are not cut, ASA PRK patients do not experience dry eyes. In fact, because they no longer need to use contact lenses, which can aggravate dryness, patients frequently report fewer symptoms of dry eye with ASA than with other laser vision correction procedures.

Brusco Vision... Your Vision, Our Mission

If you are interested in ASA PRK surgery in Washington DC and the DMV, come see what makes us different. At Brusco Vision, we provide excellent surgical outcomes, safe eye care in a welcoming environment, and an overall wonderful experience for our patients. We always evaluate our data, carefully listen to our patients, and never compromise on the best tools and technology we invest in. While we certainly support innovation, we are unwavering in our commitment to safety and would not recommend a method that has not been shown to be effective in the past. What sets Brusco Vision apart is the personalization and attention to detail we offer our patients. Everything we do here is something we are committed to and are confident in.

If you are in the greater Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia areas, call our office to learn more about the life-changing vision correction surgical procedures we offer. You don’t have to wear contact lenses or glasses forever. Call us today to learn more.

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