PRK: How It Is Performed

First, a scraping of the cornea is performed, called corneal de-epithelialization. After scraping, a laser (excimer laser) is applied to change the corneal curvatures and correct the degree. This laser, which delivers a pulsed beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the cornea’s surface, not under a layer of the cornea, as with Lasik. The patient’s fixation in the laser light during surgery is essential for a perfect correction.

Types Of Anesthesia

Local anesthesia through eye drops. Some surgeons may apply light sedation, depending on the patient.

Procedure Time

PRK surgery and smile lasik takes about 10 minutes to perform on both eyes.                                                  

Length Of Stay

Surgeries are usually performed in an outpatient setting (laser centers). The time spent depends on local logistical procedures, but normally the patient stays in the hospital for about an hour. 

How Is The Patient’s Recovery?

PRK surgery typically has a slower recovery time compared to Lasik. The patient has slightly more discomfort in the postoperative period since the epithelium is removed. The patient may experience pain, a feeling of sand in the eyes, discomfort, tearing, and photophobia in the five days following the PRK operation. 

You will have 90% vision recovery in two weeks and 100% in three months. Dependence on glasses will be reduced, and they may even reach total independence. Vision may vary from clear to blurry during the first few weeks after PRK surgery, and some activities may require glasses until vision stabilizes. Depending on the initial ametropia, some degree may remain in 1 to 5% of cases. 

Care After Surgery

It is not necessary to use a tampon, but a therapeutic contact lens for a week, regardless of the degree. The contact lens is applied immediately after surgery, allowing the eye’s surface to heal. Once the eye’s surface has healed, the contact lens bandage is removed. Using specific eye drops for one or two weeks is also indicated to prevent infections and keep your eyes moist.

Visits to the ophthalmologist such as discover vision center for example should be made during the first six months after surgery, normally following the following schedule: the day after surgery; one week after surgery; 30 days after surgery; three months after surgery; six months after surgery, and after that, once a year. 

Some recommendations for Refractive Surgery after PRK surgery are:

  • Avoid eye trauma (blows, falls, etc.)
  • Avoid team sports for 30 days
  • Avoid scratching or rubbing your eyes
  • Avoid pool, sea, sauna, and makeup for 30 days
  • Start taking medication when you get home
  • Rest and keep your eyes closed for three hours after surgery
  • Maintain your hygiene habits, such as showering and washing your face without getting water, shampoo, or soap in your eyes. If this occurs, drip two to three drops of lubricating eye drops
  • Wear sunglasses during the day and outdoor activities, especially when exposed to the sun for at least one year
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for seven days
  • Avoid using cosmetics or hair dye for 15 days
  • Protect eyes in environments with dust, plants, and volatile substances for 15 days
  • When washing your face, avoid rubbing your eyelids
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before taking care of your eyes.
  • Do not remove contact lenses. If it falls out of your eyes, do not replace it, and contact your doctor immediately.