Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of refractive surgery. This kind of surgery uses a laser to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors. You have a refractive error when your eye does not refract (bend) light properly.
We Offer The Best Treatment For You.
What Is PRK?
If you have been told that you are not a candidate for LASIK, you may want to consider PRK as an alternative solution. As with LASIK, our Doctors will use an excimer laser to refine the shape of your cornea and correct the way that it refracts light. However, instead of creating a corneal flap, they will remove the outermost layer of the cornea before making the necessary changes.
If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, and you are not a candidate for LASIK, PRK may be the solution for you.
Contact our office today and find out how PRK can improve your vision.
You have unusually thin corneas
You have irregularly shaped corneas
You play contact sports that could cause issues with the corneal flap
You have a very physical job, which could cause the corneal flap to become disrupted
The objective of PRK surgery
Ideal candidates for PRK are people who experience refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism) and would like to achieve great vision without the reliance on corrective lenses. They should be in good health overall and understand the risks and benefits of PRK.
Time to see a doctor
During your visit at Atlantic Eye, you and your ophthalmologist will discuss your vision needs based on your lifestyle. For example, if you play sports, you may be seeking clear distance vision without glasses or contact lenses.
First you’ll meet with an eye surgeon and a counselor who will talk about what you should expect during and after surgery. We will discuss your medical history and check your eyes. Likely tests include:
- Corneal thickness measure
- Corneal mapping
- Eye pressure check
After all exams are done, your surgeon will go over the results and will answer any questions you may have.
Atlantic Eye patients must arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled procedure. To prepare for surgery, anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eyes. The eyes are cleansed just before the procedure in the operating room.
PRK is usually done in our outpatient surgery center. The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes. The process of the eye surgery is accomplished in a few short steps. A local anesthetic is first applied to the eye(s). Your eye surgeon will place an eyelid holder on your eye to keep you from blinking. Then your ophthalmologist will remove the outer layer of cells on your cornea, called the epithelium. To do this, he may use a special brush, blade, laser or alcohol solution.
You will be asked to stare at a target light so that your eyes will not move. The ophthalmologist then reshapes your cornea using a laser. The laser is a special instrument that has been programmed with measurements for your eye. While your ophthalmologist is using the laser, you will hear a clicking sound.
Right after surgery, your ophthalmologist will place a “bandage” contact lens over your eye to help it heal. The outer layer of your cornea will naturally regenerate within a few weeks. Usually, our doctors will provide a soft contact lens to protect your eye during healing. He will also provide special eye drops that will reduce discomfort and sensitivity following treatment.
You will need to have someone drive you home after surgery. You should plan to go home and take a nap or just relax after the surgery. Your surgeon may suggest that you take a few days off from work. Also, you should avoid strenuous activity for up to a week after surgery, as this could slow the healing process.
After surgery, you will need to wear sunglasses outside for as long as your doctor tells you. This is because sun exposure can lead to corneal scarring after surgery, causing vision problems.
At first, your vision will be blurry after PRK. Over 3–5 days, as you heal, your vision will gradually improve. Keep in mind it may take a month or longer to achieve your best vision.
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