PRK is an outpatient procedure performed
under local anesthesia. The
procedure takes about 30 minutes, most of which is spent
preparing your eye and the laser. The actual treatment time is
very short, with most treatments taking just a few minutes.
To prepare for surgery the area around your eyes will be cleaned
and a sterile drape will be applied. Anesthetic eye drops will
be used to numb your eyes then a small instrument will keep you
from blinking during the procedure.
During the first part of PRK a very thin layer of tissue is
brushed from the surface of the cornea or is removed using the
The second step of PRK is the laser reshaping which takes just
seconds. During this time you will be asked to look directly at
a fixation light in order to accurately center the laser beam.
The Excimer laser will be programmed with the information
gathered in your pre-operative exam. The entire treatment will
be completed in less than a minute or two, depending on the
amount of correction needed. After the laser reshaping is
complete, an extended wear contact lens is placed on the cornea.
in order to speed the healing process and reduce discomfort.
Most people see well enough to drive 5 to 7 days
procedure and can resume their normal
activities at that time.
Following your procedure you will be given
additional eye drops, and your eyes will be shielded with
transparent plastic goggles. Your vision will be a little blurry
so we recommend a driver for the ride home. You should relax for
the rest of the day. Discomfort may last 2 to 5 days, but is
helped with an over-the-counter pain relievers and drops that
will be provided to you. It is normal to experience light
sensitivity and tearing of the eyes for a few days after PRK.
Most people see well enough to drive on the third day after the
procedure and can resume their normal activities at that time.
Vision can fluctuate for up to six months, but most people can
see well enough to pass a driver's license vision exam a week or
two after the procedure.