Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK) PRK is an outpatient laser vision correction procedure used to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. With PRK the surgeon utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the eye for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
PRK may be suitable for people with larger pupils, thin corneas, dry eyes or other corneal issues. PRK vision correction surgery was introduced in the 1980s and has successfully transformed the vision of millions of people. Since the early 1990s, it has evolved into what is now known as advanced PRK, or Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA).
In this procedures, instead of creating a flap (like LASIK), the surgeon removes the cornea’s outer epithelium and uses a laser to reshape the exposed cornea. The epithelium then grows back during the next few days. The PRK Proceedure PRK laser vision correction procedure does not use scalpels and no incisions are made. Prior to the procedure, an extremely detailed map of your eyes’ surfaces are created by a computer and then used by your surgeon to calibrate the excimer laser to your exact prescription. Once the laser has been properly calibrated, the technician will place an eyelid holder in your eye to keep it open throughout the procedure. The technician will insert a few anesthetic drops to numb the eye and prevent pain. To accomplish the reshaping, the surgeon first removes the protective surface layer (epithelium) from the cornea. (The epithelium is regenerated within three to five days.) Your surgeon will then smooth the area and proceed with applying computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light to reshape the curvature of the eye. Deeper cell layers remain virtually untouched.
The PRK laser vision correction process is completed in approximately 30 to 60 seconds, and immediately afterwards, a clear bandage contact lens is placed on the cornea to protect it. Additional eye drops are applied. Since a layer about as slender as a human hair is typically removed, the cornea should maintain its original strength. Often, only one eye is treated per surgery day, although your surgeon may decide to do both of your eyes on the same day.