Recovery After PRK

PRK (photo refractive keratectomy) is a very successful type of laser vision correction surgery that is similar to LASIK, but may be better suited for some patients that have thinner corneas or dry eyes. During LASIK surgery, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a corneal flap on the surface of the eye. During PRK, no corneal flap is created. Instead, the top layer of the cornea (referred to as the epithelium) is removed using a chemical solution. Then, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct vision. Since PRK requires no corneal flap to be created, the surgeon must place a contact lens on the eye, which will serve as a bandage to facilitate the epithelium’s healing process.

Other than the creation of the corneal flap, the biggest difference between LASIK and PRK is the recovery time. Patients typically experience mild discomfort, itching, irritation, or light sensitivity for three to four days after PRK surgery. Medicated eye drops can be used to help manage this discomfort. After about four days, the eyes should feel normal and vision should be improved; however, it may take several weeks after the procedure to achieve the optimal vision results. Six months after PRK, our eye surgeon will schedule another follow-up exam to ensure the anticipated results were successfully achieved.

For more information about LASIK alternatives such as PRK, please contact our office today with any questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.