Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea and treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK as it is performed on the surface of the eye and no flap is created during the procedure.
PRK is more suitable for people with larger pupils, thinner corneas, dry eyes and those who have other corneal issues. The best way to determine if PRK is right for you is a one-on-one consultation with a PRK surgeon. PRK is appropriate for people who:
- Are at least 21 year old
- Are not pregnant or nursing
- Are in good general health
- Have a stable prescription
- Have no eye disease
Steps involved in PRK:
1. Your eyelids will be cleaned.
2. Anesthetic drops are given to completely numb the eye for comfort and a lid holder is used to keep your eyelids open.
3. A solution is placed on the corneal surface to loosen the epithelium or top corneal layer.
4. Your surgeon uses information from your extensive testing to set a surgical plan that is programmed into the laser. The computer calculates the required treatment and directs the laser. Computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are applied to the inner layers of your cornea. The inner corneal layer is reshaped with the laser to mimic your contact lens or glasses prescription.
5. The surgeon gently places a therapeutic bandage lens, like a contact lens, on the corneal surface until it heals. This minimizes discomfort after the procedure.