Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the very first form of laser vision correction surgery. It was designed to correct and improve common refractive vision errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The PRK procedure consists of removing the thin outer layer of the cornea and reshaping the corneal tissue with a laser so that light can focus better on the retina. Though LASIK is often the go-to for laser vision correction today, PRK is a wonderful option for patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK or when LASIK is not appropriate. The results provided by PRK are the same as other forms of vision correction, but the recovery is a bit longer. During an individualized consultation with board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Alison R. Tendler at her private practice, ART Vision in Sioux Falls, SD, you can learn more about laser vision correction surgery and whether you are a candidate for PRK.
Best Candidates for PRK
During your consultation at ART Vision, Dr. Tendler will perform an eye exam and determine characteristics such as the shape and thickness of your cornea, your refractive error, tear production, and the overall health of your eye before recommending PRK. The best candidates for PRK laser vision correction are at least 18 years of age, are not suffering from any ocular disease, and are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Ideal candidates for PRK are often not candidates for LASIK surgery. Other vision correction options may include implantable contact lenses (ICLs) or refractive lens exchange (RLE).
What to Expect with PRK
Immediately prior to your surgery, you will be offered mild oral sedation. Once you are at ease and ready for your procedure to begin, a member of Dr. Tendler's team will administer a numbing eye drop to both eyes before positioning an eyelid holder. This will keep your eyes open during surgery. First, Dr. Tendler will gently remove a thin portion of corneal tissue from the outer surface of the eye. Next, using a state-of-the-art excimer laser, your cornea will be reshaped to match your correction, allowing Dr. Tendler to change your vision for better clarity. This process is then repeated on the other eye. After finishing the laser portion of the procedure, a contact lens is placed in both eyes, protecting them from outside influence and to keep your eyes more comfortable while they begin the healing process. From start to finish, PRK surgery only lasts a few minutes.
The temporary contact lens that is serving as a bandage will help improve comfort as you heal. Patients can expect moderate discomfort in the first 3-4 days following surgery. Vision will fluctuate during that time. You will be able to return to work or school and begin driving again at about five days post-surgery. Over the coming weeks, you will need to attend several follow-up visits with ART Vision or your primary eye doctor, so that Dr. Tendler can monitor your recovery. Sensitivity to light could last as long as four weeks post-procedure. Most ART Vision patients report feeling back to normal in as little as one month after PRK with vision that continues to improve over the six months post-procedure.
Dependable Vision Correction
PRK can help you live a higher quality life with clearer vision, giving you the confidence you seek by living freer from the need for glasses and contacts. If you are not a candidate for LASIK vision correction, you can still seek the visual freedom you desire and deserve with PRK. Contact our Sioux Falls, SD facility today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alison R. Tendler and learn how quickly we can change your life with PRK so you can See the World Better and See Yourself Better.