What is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an excimer laser to carefully treat the cornea. Unlike LASIK, no flap is created in the cornea during this procedure. This method preserves the strength of the cornea to a greater extent. The PRK method may allow your surgeon to treat greater degrees of nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism.
Before LASIK was available, PRK was the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. LASIK brought about several advantages over PRK, including less discomfort and faster results, but PRK is still preferred for patients with large pupils or thin corneas. The PRK procedure takes less than a minute to complete, and is performed with only anesthetic eye drops. Visual recovery following PRK usually takes up to 5-7 days.
How is PRK Surgery performed?
Unlike LASIK, PRK does not require a flap. Instead, your surgeon will remove a central area of corneal epithelium either with an alcohol buffer solution, surgical instrument, or laser. Once the stroma or the middle layer of the cornea is exposed, the excimer laser reshapes the cornea. A “bandage” soft contact lens is placed on your cornea after the procedure to help protect your eye while new epithelial cells grow back.