Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser eye surgery procedure intended to correct a person’s vision, reducing their dependency on glasses or contact lenses. PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and is the predecessor of LASIK. PRK healing times are longer than recovery from LASIK surgery. It may be days or a couple of weeks before your eyesight improves, and even longer for your vision to stabilize. Most PRK patients in Seattle can usually resume activities such as driving a car one to three weeks after surgery, but it can take three to six months before vision is completely clear and stable.
In PRK, the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed and discarded. Next, Dr. Leavitt uses an excimer laser to precisely reshape the curvature of the corneal surface. This computer-controlled, highly specialized excimer laser delivers pulses of cool ultraviolet light that remove microscopic amounts of tissue in a precise pattern. A soft contact lens “bandage” is then placed on the cornea to help protect the eye. New epithelial cells grow back in about four or five days, after which the bandage contact lens is removed by Dr. Leavitt.
Though PRK recovery takes a bit longer than the healing time from LASIK eye surgery, PRK is still commonly performed and offers advantages over LASIK for some patients.
If you would like more information about PRK as well as other laser eye surgery procedures, be sure to schedule a consultation at Bellevue LASIK & Cataract Center at 425-450-6990 or bellevue-lasik.com.