Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Some patients are better suited for an alternate approach to laser surgery. This procedure is called Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). The procedure safest for your eyes is determined at the time of your consultation. Typically, the recommendation to proceed with PRK is made for patients with thinner corneas, corneal scars or irregularly shaped corneas.
PRK outcomes are the same as with LASIK, however, healing takes longer and patients are required to use eye drops for 3-4 months following their procedure. Patients who have PRK are typically asked to take one week off of work.
PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap; therefore it is also considered a bladeless procedure. Your surgeon will remove the protective layer of the cornea called the epithelium. An excimer laser is then utilized in the same manner as in the LASIK procedure. Once completed, your surgeon will place a bandage contact lens on your eye to allow the epithelium to regenerate. Your optometrist will remove the bandage lens 3-4 days after the procedure. Some irritation, tearing and discomfort is typical while your epithelium heals.
While healing is longer and less comfortable, the end results are the same as they would be following LASIK.