What is Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)?
PRK is a surgical refractive procedure, which corrects for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism. During PRK, no flap is created. Instead, the outer surface of the cornea – referred to as the “epithelium” is carefully removed. The excimer laser then ablates (reshapes) the cornea to treat the refractive error unique to the patient’s eye. A protective bandage contact lens is placed on the eye following this procedure to allow the epithelium to heal. This typically takes 3-4 days to occur. While PRK provides great surgical results, similar to LASIK, the healing time is longer and some discomfort is expected.
Benefits of PRK Eye Surgery
- PRK avoids the use of the microkeratome or laser to create a flap and leaves a greater portion of the cornea untouched by the surgery.
- There is more rapid recovery of the corneal nerves function which in turn minimizes the amount of dryness.
- PRK provides an extra margin of safety in patients whose corneas are of an unusual shape or thickness.