The PRK Process
The Answers to Your PRK Procedure Questions
Q: What is laser vision correction?
A: This type of surgical procedure is designed to correct vision problems for patients experiencing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism using laser technology. Along with LASIK, PRK—which stands for photorefractive keratectomy—is one of the most common types of laser vision correction. During PRK, the outer layer of the cornea is removed entirely before using lasers to reshape the tissue beneath. This enhances a patient’s visual acuity. The outer layer of the cornea will grow back over the tissue in time.
Q: Is a PRK procedure safe?
A: PRK, an FDA-approved procedure, is a proven, safe, and effective method of vision correction for patients who may need an alternative to LASIK. There are no known cases of blindness from a PRK procedure.
Q: Is PRK painful?
A: PRK, like LASIK, is not a painful procedure. Similar to the LASIK procedure experience, a PRK patient will receive numbing eye drops before, during, and after the procedure. PRK recovery may last slightly longer than LASIK recovery. PRK patients experience a little more discomfort after the procedure, as it creates an intentional abrasion. A clear bandage contact lens and soothing eye drops, along with oral medication, makes the recovery process for PRK easier and more comfortable.
Q: How long does a PRK procedure take?
A: When you arrive at LVC for a PRK procedure, you will be at the clinic for one to two hours. However, your total time in the procedure suite is about ten to fifteen minutes. Most of the visit is preparation for the procedure and discussion with your surgeon and our team.
Q: Am I awake during PRK?
A: Yes, you will be awake during your PRK procedure. Patients are offered a Valium or similar sedative, if needed, to help them relax. You need to remain awake during PRK so that you can follow instructions from your surgeon about where to fixate your gaze.
Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for a PRK procedure?
A: Because every patient is unique, there is no “one-size-fits-all” definition of an ideal PRK candidate. Many times, PRK is a good alternative for patients who are not found to be candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas or dry eyes. However, the best way to determine your candidacy is to speak to your doctor and then schedule a consultation at LVC.