About Photorefractive keratectomy
If you have dry eyes or thin corneas and want to have refractive surgery, PRK may be a good choice for you. This is because some other types of refractive surgery, such as LASIK, are not recommended if you have these conditions.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is one kind of the refractive surgery. This kind of surgery uses a laser to treat vision dysfunctions caused by refractive errors. You have a refractive error when your eye does not bend light properly. With PRK, our ophthalmologist uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea. This improves the way light rays are focused on the retina.
PRK is used to treat near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The goal of photorefractive keratectomy is to correct your refractive error to improve your vision. PRK may reduce your need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some cases, it may even allow you to do without them completely.
PRK requirements for good results:
Photorefractive Keratectomy surgery steps
Our ophthalmologist will discuss your vision needs based on your lifestyle. For example, if you play sports, you may be seeking clear distance vision from surgery.
Also, our ophthalmologist will thoroughly examine your eyes and make sure you are a candidate. For PRK. Here is what to do before:
- Test your vision. This is to make sure that your vision has not changed. It also shows how high your refractive error is and whether PRK can be used to correct your vision.
- Check for other eye problems. our ophthalmologist will make sure that you do not have eye problems. This is because other problems could affect your surgery, or PRK could make those other problems worse.
- Measure and map the surface of your cornea. our ophthalmologist will check the thickness of your cornea and make precise measurements of the cornea’s surface. Your eye surgeon uses these measurements to program the computer-based laser used during surgery.
- Measure your pupil size. measure the size of your pupil.
During Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK is usually done in an outpatient surgery centre. The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes or little bit more. Here is what to expect:
- Your eye will be numbed with eye drops.
- Your eye surgeon will place an eyelid holder on your eye to keep you from blinking.
- Then your ophthalmologist will remove the outer layer of cells on your cornea, called the epithelium. To do this, our doctor may use a special brush, blade, laser or alcohol solution.
- You will be asked to stare at a target light so that your eyes will not move. The ophthalmologist then reshapes your cornea using a laser. The laser is a special instrument that has been programmed with measurements for your eye. While your ophthalmologist is using the laser, you will hear a clicking sound.
Right after surgery, your ophthalmologist will place a “bandage” contact lens over your eye to help it heal.
- You will need to have someone drive you home after surgery. You should plan to go home and take a nap or just relax after the surgery.
- Your surgeon may suggest that you take a few days off from work. Also, you should avoid strenuous activity for up to a week after surgery, as this could slow the healing process.
- For two to three days after PRK, you may have some eye pain. Over-the-counter medicine usually controls the pain. Occasionally, some people may need eye drop pain relievers or other prescription medicine to relieve pain. Be sure to call your ophthalmologist if your pain is not helped by over-the-counter medicines.
- You will need to use eye drop medicine for up to a month or as prescribed by your ophthalmologist. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for using this medicine to help healing.
- After PRK, you will need to wear sunglasses outside for as long as your doctor tells you. This is because sun exposure can lead to corneal scarring after surgery, causing vision problems.
At first, your vision will be blurry after PRK. Over 3–5 days, as you heal, your vision will gradually improve. Keep in mind it may take a month or longer to achieve your best vision.