The first type of laser surgery for vision correction, photorefractive keratectomy, better known as PRK surgery, can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If you’re interested in PRK surgery, the experienced team of ophthalmologists at Eye Care & Surgery, with two New York City locations in Washington Heights in Manhattan and another near the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, right across the street from Yankee Stadium, can determine if you’re a good candidate. Although PRK surgery takes a little longer to recover from than LASIK surgery, for some adults, PRK offers advantages. Call your nearest Eye Care & Surgery office to schedule a consultation or book online today.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgery is a laser eye surgery that reshapes your cornea using an excimer laser. Reshaping your cornea allows light to focus properly on your retina so you can see clearly without depending on glasses or contact lenses.
PRK surgery is similar to its successor, LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), but different in how PRK reshapes your cornea.
During a bladeless PRK procedure, your Eye Care & Surgery doctor completely removes a thin outer layer of your cornea, then uses the excimer laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue.
The outer layer of the cornea — the epithelium — grows back over the surface of your cornea within a few days after PRK surgery.
Alternatively, during LASIK surgery, your doctor doesn’t remove the epithelium but instead creates a thin flap that gets replaced after reshaping the underlying cornea.
Your eye surgeon may recommend PRK surgery instead of LASIK if your cornea isn’t thick enough to perform the LASIK procedure. Additionally, PRK may be advantageous for adults with chronic dry eye, or those who work in professions with a high risk of eye injury.
While it typically takes longer to recover from PRK surgery than LASIK, about 90% of people have 20/40 vision or better three months after surgery, and after a year, 90% of people have 20/20 vision.
That means that even if you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK, but you still want to see as clearly as possible without depending on glasses or contact lenses, PRK surgery may be the ideal solution.
Although the procedure itself is fairly quick, after PRK surgery, you may experience some pain and discomfort. Your surgeon prescribes antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medications to reduce symptoms and minimize swelling and places bandage contact lenses on the eyes for comfort.
Over the weeks that follow your surgery, expect to have several follow-up appointments at Eye Care & Surgery so your doctor can monitor your progress and make sure your eyes are healing properly.
It may be days or even a few weeks before you’re happy with your ability to see more clearly. And it takes up to three months for your vision to stabilize. You can typically drive 1-3 weeks after surgery, though.
You should be careful to avoid sunlight, swimming, and getting sand or debris in your eyes after PRK surgery to reduce your risk of infection and light sensitivity issues.
To find out if PRK surgery is the best option for you, call Eye Care & Surgery today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.