What to Expect on PRK Surgery Day
Like LASIK, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is an outpatient procedure that is performed at our Chesapeake location. Please expect to be at our office for a couple of hours even though your time in our surgical suite will only take minutes. This extra time is necessary to have you complete last-minute paperwork and rest before and after the procedure.
Relaxation medication can also be administered if you are feeling especially anxious before the procedure.
Here is what you can expect during the PRK process:
- Numbing anesthetic eye drops will be placed into your eyes.
- Your doctor will perform one last check on your vision.
- A device will be placed into your eyes to keep your lids open and prevent blinking.
- Your doctor gently removes your cornea’s outer (epithelial) layer to allow access to the underlying tissue.
- An excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea by removing small amounts of corneal tissue according to your unique refractive error. This step takes just minutes to accomplish. Eye tracking technology will detect the slightest eye movement and stop the laser until your eye is in perfect position again.
- A contact lens is temporarily placed on the cornea to protect your eye as the epithelial cells regenerate.
- You will then rest in our post-op suite and your doctor will perform one final check of your eyes.
- When your doctor gives the ok, you will be free to have a friend drive you home so you can rest.
After PRK Surgery
PRK recovery takes longer than LASIK because the epithelial cells need time to regenerate. This process may take 5 or more days. After that time the temporary contact lens can be removed by your doctor. Your final vision results may take a couple of weeks or months as your vision stabilizes.
Some patients experience temporary eye discomfort after PRK surgery including:
- Mild pain
- Itching or burning
- Hazy vision
- Light sensitivity
- Dry eyes
It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes during the healing process to avoid infection or other complications. Discuss any of these conditions at your post-op appointment and contact your doctor if they continue.
Are you ready for clear vision? If so, contact us to schedule a free PRK Consultation.