What is the PRK procedure?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a vision correction method that has been used successfully for decades. This refractive surgery can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses in patients with hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism.
There are multiple refractive surgeries that can correct vision issues, including PRK, LASIK and Visian ICL. It is important to consult an experienced eye doctor like those at Kirk Eye Center to help you choose the best procedure for your vision and lifestyle needs. Our doctors will make sure you have the information, support, and guidance you need throughout your vision correction process.
After you and your doctor have determined that PRK is a good option for you, you can schedule your surgery. The surgery itself is quite short, lasting about 5-15 minutes per eye. In the procedure, your surgeon will skillfully remove the outermost layer of your cornea. Then, the surgeon will reshape your cornea to correct your specific vision issue.
What to Expect After PRK
As with any surgery, you will need some time to recover afterward. Recovery time varies from one patient to the next, but there are several common conditions and recommendations associated with PRK recovery.
- Wear a bandage lens - After PRK surgery, our surgeons place a contact lens bandage over your eyes. The bandage protects the eye while it heals and will need to be removed by your doctor after 3-5 days.
- Use eye drops or medication – In the 3-5 days following surgery, you may experience eye discomfort like sensitivity to light or irritation similar to having something in your eye. Prescription eye drops can provide relief and promote healing. Over-the-counter medicine is sometimes used to manage pain as well.
- Experience vision changes – PRK involves a gradual improvement of vision. Your vision may toggle between blurry and clear for some time as your eyes recover. It can take 3-6 months to achieve your best vision.
- Ask for help – Make arrangements with a loved one to be available to assist you. You will need a ride home from your surgery and to your immediate follow up appointments. Your vision may be blurry off and on over the days following your procedure, so you may also need help completing daily tasks. It is far better to ask for help than to stress your eyes while they are recovering.
- Wear sunglasses – Your corneas are vulnerable during the recovery process. Exposure to sunlight following your PRK surgery can cause corneal scarring, which can result in a new set of vision issues. It is extremely important that you follow your doctor’s recommendations for wearing sunglasses in order to protect your newly improved eyesight.
- Keep your appointments – Our doctors want to make sure your eyes heal optimally, so they will have you set up follow up appointments. In these appointments, they will check your bandage lens and the surface of your eye to monitor your progress.
- Rest – You may need to stay home from work to allow your eyes to rest in the days following your PRK procedure. It is also important to abstain from intense activities for about a week following your surgery. You will want to consult your doctor about when you can resume all of your normal activities.
Our ophthalmologists and eye surgeons have helped many patients in the River Forest and Gurnee area improve their vision with PRK. We pride ourselves on providing an exceptional level of care from your initial consultation through your recovery. To speak with one of our doctors about PRK or other refractive surgery options, please schedule a consultation by calling us at 708-771-3334.