Sometimes LASIK is not the best procedure for some patients to achieve their goal of spectacle independence. In these cases, a procedure known as photorefractive keratectomy (“PRK”) is an alternative to LASIK that can restore your vision to its fullest potential.
PRK is an outpatient procedure wherein the excimer laser is used to achieve vision correction by sculpting the cornea. In PRK only the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea is moved aside compared to the flap that is created with LASIK. The surgeon then uses the excimer laser to sculpt the cornea. The epithelium typically heals in one to two days.
There are certain criteria to meet to be a good candidate for PRK. You may not be a good candidate if you have thinner corneas, irregular astigmatism, any scarring, or progressive ectasia. Dr. Besser will work with you in your initial consultation to determine the procedure that’s best for you.
It may take 7-10 days for a patient’s vision to recover and attain its new clarity. Immediately after a PRK procedure, patients are likely to experience discomfort for the first 36-48 hours. They’ll wear a soft, protective contact lens (known as a “bandage soft contact lens”) in their eye for 5-7 days after the procedure. This bandage contact lens promotes healing and allows the patient to be more comfortable during the healing period. Dr. Besser will remove the contact lens at the 5-7 day post-operative visit.
To learn more or schedule a consultation to find out if you’re a candidate for PRK, contact our offices today.