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Refractive Surgeries Specialist

Stephen Khachikian, MD -  - Ophthalmologist

Stephen Khachikian, MD

Ophthalmologist located in Rapid City, SD

Refractive surgery procedures correct a variety of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contacts, so there’s no doubt that refractive surgery can make life more convenient. At Stephen Khachikian, MD, in Rapid City, South Dakota, leading refractive surgery expert Dr. Khachikian can correct your vision in a safe, reliable, and fast laser procedure. Book your refractive surgery consultation online or by phone now.

Refractive Surgery

What is refractive surgery?

Refractive surgery is a way to correct common vision problems. LASIK and PRK are two common kinds of refractive surgery. Refractive surgery reshapes your cornea using a cool (non-thermal) laser.


What vision problems can refractive surgery help with?

Dr. Khachikian can correct a variety of common refractive errors with refractive surgery, including:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness) - good near vision with fuzzy distance vision
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) - good distance vision with fuzzy near vision
  • Astigmatism - irregular cornea or lens shape that causes blurry vision

Many men and women have astigmatism in addition to myopia or hyperopia, and refractive surgery can correct both issues at once.


What kind of refractive surgery is right for me?

Dr. Khachikian will do a comprehensive eye exam and discuss your vision correction needs and goals with you to determine what kind of refractive surgery is best suited for you.


In LASIK, the most common kind of refractive surgery, Dr. Khachikian creates a corneal flap and reshapes your cornea while your eyes are numbed with anesthetic drops. LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

LASIK is an outpatient procedure, and most patients have a smooth recovery with little-to-no downtime. Although LASIK is a virtual vision miracle for many patients, it’s not ideal for everyone. If you aren’t a good LASIK candidate due to thin corneas, PRK may work well.


PRK is similar to LASIK in many ways, but, instead of creating a corneal flap as with LASIK, Dr. Khachikian removes the epithelial tissue layer covering your cornea. Then, Dr. Khachikian reshapes your exposed cornea and places a contact lens atop. The contact lens works as a bandage to help you heal.

PRK recovery takes a little longer than LASIK recovery. You may have some mild-to-moderate discomfort for 2-3 days after PRK, but medication controls this effectively. Generally, PRK patients get back to their normal routine within 4-5 days.

Both LASIK and PRK can generally correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism completely. After about age 40, LASIK can still significantly improve your vision, but you may need to use reading glasses for presbyopia.

If you want to be completely glasses- or contacts-free, Dr. Khachikian may recommend an implanted lens like KAMRA® to correct presbyopia in addition to your LASIK or PRK. Monovision is another option in which you have different corrections for each eye.

To learn how refractive surgery can help you, click the online scheduler or call the office of Stephen Khachikian, MD, today.