Photorefractive keratectomy or PRK is a type of laser vision correction procedure that removes your epithelium, your cornea’s surface layer, and reshapes your corneal bed using a laser, similar to the LASIK procedure. This is a rather common procedure in Sydney and is ideal for individuals whose corneas are too thin and LASIK treatment is just not safely possible.
What Happens During a PRK Laser Procedure?
Anaesthetic drops will be applied to your eyes to numb them and prevent discomfort and distress while the ophthalmologist does the PRK vision correction procedure. A device will be placed to keep your eyelids apart and to prevent you from blinking. The ophthalmologist will then gently remove your epithelium and then uses the laser to correct your refractive error.
Aies.com.au explains that the laser will be programmed according to your specific refractive error—astigmatism, farsightedness, or near-sightedness. Usually, the laser procedure just lasts less than a couple of minutes. After the procedure, you will then have to wear temporary contact lenses that you can say act like a ‘bandage’ for your eyes during the period of recovery.
What Happens After PRK Laser Eye Surgery?
After the procedure, you’ll be prescribed topical antibiotics and pain and anti-inflammatory medications for post-operative comfort. These will minimise the swelling and accelerate the healing process of your eyes.
Note that recovering from a PRK procedure takes longer than recovering from LASIK. You’ll count days, in some cases, weeks, before you notice any improvement in your vision, and even longer for your eyesight to stabilise. One important detail that you should remember is that you should avoid wearing rigid contact lenses when you’re still recovering. Contact lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, and may undo any work the procedure may have done.
After the procedure, you may need to go back to your ophthalmologist for follow-up check-ups so that they can check if the procedure is going well. Even when they give you the all clear, you’ll need to rest up and avoid straining your eyes. If possible, have someone to drive for you as your eyes may still be adjusting even after the final recovery date.