PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) and Custom PRK
PRK was first approved by the FDA in 1995 and was the most popular refractive procedure until the approval of LASIK. PRK is used today to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and is still the preferred option for patients with thin corneas, recurrent corneal erosion, or corneal scars. Computer driven for accuracy Advanced CustomVue™ can be applied to PRK just as it is for LASIK. Either way, PRK is performed by removing the surface layer of the cornea and applying the laser directly to the layers beneath. This is similar to LASIK but a flap is not created. The end result is similar, however, the patient usually experiences more discomfort and has a longer recovery time before achieving their best vision with PRK.
The benefits of PRK may include:
- Freedom from glasses or contact lenses, even after years of required use
- A better self-image
- Improved vision for sports, work and other activities
- Financial savings over time
About The Procedure
On the day of your procedure, you will be given a mild sedative to help you relax and a lid speculum is used to hold your eyelid opened. Anesthetic drops will be applied to numb your eye and prevent pain during the procedure. Dr. Bryan will then gently remove the surface corneal cells and proceed with the laser. The excimer laser uses a precise, cold beam of ultraviolet light to reshape the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue -less than the thickness of a human hair in most cases. The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes from start to finish for both eyes and is described as “painless” by a majority of our patients.
Following The Procedure
Immediately after the procedure, a bandage contact lens is applied to your eye. This contact lens is worn for the first 3 days, as the cornea begins to heal itself. Pain medication is given for 1-2 days postoperatively. This is due to the fact that most of the pain fibers in the cornea are located in the surface portion that PRK affects. Your vision is usually at its worst on the third day after surgery as the cornea heals together at the center of your pupil. Generally your vision will be good enough to drive a car within a week but your best vision may not be obtained for several months in which during this time eye medications will be used to promote healing and prevent infection.