What is PRK?
PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. Like LASIK, a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light is used to reshape your cornea. PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and it the predecessor to the popular LASIK procedure. Instead of creating a corneal flap within the cornea, with PRK, the excimer laser is applied to the surface of the cornea after gentle removal of the surface skin cells. PRK recovery does take longer than LASIK surgery, but for certain patients, it is a safer procedure that can preserve corneal integrity over time. Visual results are very similar to the LASIK procedure despite the longer recovery time.
Candidates for PRK
During your consultation, the team at Arena Eye Surgeons will discuss the unique shape of your cornea, and the thickness, and determine if you are a good candidate for PRK vs LASIK.
In preparation for the procedure, anesthetic drops are placed in your eyes. A lid speculum keeps the eyelids open and out of the way during the procedure. Next, your surgeon will gently remove the surface cells of your cornea, and then the excimer laser will reshape your cornea based on your unique prescription. When the process is completed, a protective contact lens is applied to your cornea to promote healing. You will experience some mild discomfort and sensitivity during this process of healing.
Expectations After Surgery
You will continue to wear your protective contact lens for up to 3-5 days following the procedure, and depending on your healing process. Once the protective lenses are removed, you will notice gradual improvement in your vision. Most patients, by 5 to 7 days have resumed going back to work, but individual results may vary depending on healing. The majority of patients note optimum visual results in 1-3 months post-surgery, and vision can continue to improve up to 6 months post PRK.
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