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What Is PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)?

PRK surgery (which stands for “Photorefractive Keratectomy”) is a laser vision correction procedure that may be an option for those who may not be candidates for LASIK. PRK is commonly known as “LASIK without the flap.” Instead of making a thin flap in the cornea as is done in LASIK, the laser treatment in PRK is applied to the surface of the cornea, eliminating all potential complications of a LASIK flap.

What Happens During The Procedure?

With PRK, your individual prescription is used to calculate the amount of the corneal tissue that needs to be removed to correct your vision. An excimer laser delivers a programmed number of pulses of cool ultraviolet light. Each pulse removes a microscopic layer of the cornea thus reshaping the cornea to the appropriate shape.

PRK surgery removes a thin layer of corneal tissue from the surface of the cornea with the excimer laser after the outermost layer (called the epithelium) has been removed. Unlike LASIK where the treatment is done beneath the flap, the removal of tissue on the surface of the cornea results in a longer healing time as well as mild discomfort for two to three days after the surgery.

For patients with lower amounts of nearsightedness and farsightedness, Photorefractive Keratectomy is a very predictable and extremely safe method for the correction of refractive errors. Despite the slight discomfort of PRK compared to LASIK, our surgeons may recommend PRK over LASIK based on results of your comprehensive eye examination. Our doctors will discuss the indications for having PRK and LASIK with you during your consultation.

The goal of any refractive vision correction procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. For patients receiving Photorefractive Keratectomy, it may be several days before you feel comfortable returning to work and normal activity. Pain is usually quite minimal after surgery, although postoperative discomfort is a possibility.

4 Step PRK Procedure

Step 1

Alongside numbing drops, an alcohol solution is placed on the eye to help soften the cornea.

Step 2

The surgeon then smooths the surface of the cornea with a special surgical instrument.

Step 3

An excimer laser is then used to precisely reshape the curvature of the cornea’s surface.

Step 4

A bandage-like soft contact lens is then placed on the cornea to help protect the eye as it heals.

What people are saying about Loden Vision Centers

I had the PRK procedure done by Dr. Loden two months ago. My only regret is that I did not do it sooner! It was a great experience. Both he and his staff do an amazing job throughout the entire process.

Stephanie Forrester – Facebook
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