PRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy, is a common surgery to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. PRK was the most commonly performed vision correction procedure prior to LASIK, and has been performed worldwide since the early 1980s.
Prior to LASIK, PRK was the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure. And since PRK is performed on the surface of the cornea and requires no flap, as with LASIK, it remains an excellent procedure choice for patients with thinner corneas, some corneal irregularities, high impact lifestyles or military requirements. Dr. Whitten will always recommend the best procedure for your specific eyes.
As with all your vision correction procedures at Whitten Laser Eye, you begin with a thorough diagnostic assessment using the latest technology. Your eyes are as unique as you are. Dr. Mark Whitten and his staff will recommend and plan an approach that is customized especially for you.
PRK uses the same advanced diagnostic and laser correction technology as LASIK. The difference is that the initial ‘flap’ is not made during the PRK procedure. Instead, Dr. Whitten first removes the epithelium, or outer surface layer, from your cornea. This very thin layer of epithelium easily regenerates within three to five days.
During PRK, the cool ultraviolet beam of the excimer laser gently reshapes the cornea. This reshaping allows light to be focused more precisely onto the retina, giving you the clear vision you have always wanted.
After your procedure, a clear “bandage” contact lens is placed on the cornea for protection and eye drops are applied. You will continue to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops at home to promote healing and reduce swelling. The contact lens is generally removed within three to five days, as the epithelium has regenerated.
Dr. Whitten will discuss all of your options, and recommend the best approach for your situation. Following your procedure, you can expect your vision to continue to improve over the next few days and weeks. While the improvement is more gradual than with LASIK, it is just as effective!