If you are not a candidate for Lasik, PRK surgery can be another excellent option to help you achieve your overall vision goals. PRK is a refractive surgery technique designed to reshape the cornea and enhance your ability to focus clearly without the aid of corrective eyewear.
1. Measure and map the surface of your cornea.
Your ophthalmologist will check the thickness of your cornea and take a detailed scan of the cornea’s surface. Your eye surgeon uses these measurements to program the computer-based laser used during surgery. During the procedure your eye will be numbed with eye drops. Your eye surgeon will place an eyelid holder on your eye to keep you from blinking.
2. Reshaping the cornea
You will be asked to stare at a light so that your eye does not move. Trans PRK is performed with an excimer laser, which uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove very tiny bits of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. When you reshape the cornea in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. Excimer lasers can also correct astigmatism, by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
3. Bandage contact lens
You will wear a special "bandage" contact lens, use antibiotic drops for a few days, and apply anti-inflammatory drops for several weeks.
4. Vision after transPRK
Immediately after PRK, the doctor will have you rest for a bit, then you can go home (someone else must drive). At home, you should relax for at least a few hours. The doctor will prescribe medication for any postoperative pain that includes scratchiness and lasts a few days. Most doctors advise a couple of days of rest. By about the third day after surgery re-epithelialization has occurred, so the doctor may remove the contact lenses. Vision will probably not be perfect immediately: in three days many patients do have 20/40 or even 20/20 vision, but others take longer – around 6 weeks - to reach their final result. Usually people can drive in about a week after surgery. These recovery times are significantly longer than with LASIK.
Ideal candidates for PRK include:
Patients who are nearsighted, slightly farsighted, and/or have astigmatism
Patients who have a thin cornea and do not qualify for LASIK surgery
Patients who are 18 or older, or have had a stable prescription for 2+ years, and are in otherwise good health
Patients who have no current eye diseases
Patients who wish to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contact lenses