We perform photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, at our Jefferson City office for patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK. PRK is a highly-effective LASIK alternative, and is used to resolve low degrees of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. There are several reasons why one of our physicians may recommend PRK over other treatments for you. In general, PRK is preferred over other treatments if the patient has thin corneas.
Unlike LASIK, in which a hinged flap is created on the outer layer of the cornea, PRK involves reshaping the cornea without the creation of a flap. Prior to the procedure, your Capitol Eye Care surgeon numbs the cornea with topical anesthetic drops. Your surgeon then gently removes the corneal epithelium, the surface layer of cells. Next the computer-controlled excimer laser makes the appropriate adjustments needed to correct the refractive error. After the surgery, you wear a bandage contact lens for a few days to promote healing.
Healing is a bit longer with PRK than with LASIK, but the end results are very similar. After the procedure, most patients will be evaluated at one day, three days, one week, one month, two to three months, and four to six months following the PRK procedure. The bandage contact lens can usually be removed on the third or fourth postoperative day when the outer cornea has healed.