PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) is a type of eye surgery that corrects refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms. It is similar to LASIK surgery in that it reshapes the cornea. However, no flap is created during this eye surgery.
PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy)
PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) involves the use of a laser to reshape the cornea. During this surgery, the outer surface of the cornea is removed, and the computer-controlled laser reshapes the cornea by removing tiny sections of tissue. Once the procedure is complete, the light that enters the eye is focused correctly on the back of the eye, which dramatically improves visual clarity. At the end of the eye surgery, clear contact lenses are placed into the eyes to prevent contamination of the surgical site. These lenses are typically removed between three and five days after the procedure. During that time the surface layer of the cornea regrows.
How PRK Differs from LASIK
PRK is very similar to LASIK eye surgery with one exception. A corneal flap is not created at the beginning of the procedure. This eliminates a surgical step and eliminates corneal flap problems after surgery. However, it also means that the individual must wear a set of clear contact lenses after the surgery while the cornea heals. Both surgeries have similar success rates, and afterward, the need for corrective lenses on a daily basis is dramatically reduced or completely eliminated.
Good Candidates for PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy)
- 18 years of age or older
- Have a desire for permanent vision correction.
- No eye health issues, like AMD, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy
- No significant changes in vision for the last 12 months
- Not a good candidate for LASIK due to thin corneas
- Pupils are abnormally large
The process for getting PRK vision correction surgery always starts with a thorough evaluation of your visual acuity and glasses and/or contacts prescription. This is to determine if you have any eye diseases or eye health problems that may affect your current and future vision and to make sure your eyes are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Your corneas will also be precisely mapped in order to determine how much corneal tissue to remove and where the tissue should be removed in order to provide you with permanent, clear vision.
On the day of your eye surgery, you will be asked to arrive about an hour prior to the time of your surgery. During that hour, you will be given some medication to help you relax and prepared for surgery. Once in the surgical theater, the procedure takes just a few minutes per eye. After the surgery, you will be given time to recover. Since anesthesia and medications are used to help you relax and to prevent pain, you will need to bring another driver with you.
After Your PRK Surgery
After your PRK surgery, you will have clear contacts in your eyes. These lenses are not to be removed. About 24 to 48 hours after your surgery, you will have a follow-up appointment to make sure that your eyes are healing correctly and to check for any signs of complications. Between three and five days after your eye surgery, the contacts will be removed. Ten days after your surgery, your eye should be completely healed, and you should notice a significant improvement in your vision with maximum benefits occurring between three and six months after the surgery.