What to Expect on PRK Surgery Day
Like LASIK, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is an outpatient procedure that is performed in our custom-designed laser vision correction suite. Please expect to be at our office for approximately 2 hours even though your time in our surgical suite will only take about 15 minutes. The extra time is necessary to complete last-minute paperwork, perform day-of-surgery measurements, prepare your eyes for surgery, and to rest after the procedure.
Valium will be given before the procedure to relax you.
Here is what you can expect during the PRK process:
- Dr. Patel will perform one last check vision check.
- Numbing anesthetic eye drops will be placed into your eyes.
- A device will be placed into your eyes to help keep your lids open and prevent blinking.
- Dr. Patel 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 less than a minute to accomplish. Eye tracking technology will detect the slightest eye movement and stop the laser until the eye is in perfect position again.
- Medication will be placed on the eye for 12-20 seconds to prevent scarring.
- The medication will be flushed from the eye.
- A bandage contact lens is then temporarily placed on the cornea to protect the eye as the new epithelial cells regenerate.
- You will then rest in our post-op suite and Dr. Patel will perform one final check of your eyes.
- When Dr. Patel gives the ok, you will be free to have a friend/family member 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 Dr. Patel. 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 Dr. Patel if they continue.
Are you ready for clear vision? If so, contact us to schedule a free PRK consultation.