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Thank you for trusting us with your eye care! We are open and serving our community. For a list of how our office is evolving, click here.

Schedule Your Free Virtual or
In-office Consult Today

How does PRK work?

PRK is a very similar, sister procedure to LASIK. The most significant difference between LASIK and PRK is the way the top surface of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed. This type of removal prolongs the healing process by a few days, but the results are exactly the same as LASIK over time. PRK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye called the cornea so the light rays that enter the eye bend in the correct way to give good vision.

When a person wears their glasses or contacts, the light rays are altered in front of the eye. When the cornea is reshaped, the light rays are altered on the surface of the eye. This means that with PRK the patient enjoys 24/7 vision correction, as compared to glasses or contacts that only provide the correcting effect when the patient is wearing lenses.

Why PRK?

When a person wears their glasses or contacts, the light rays are altered in front of the eye. When the cornea is reshaped, the light rays are altered on the surface of the eye. This means that with PRK the patient enjoys 24/7 vision correction, as compared to glasses or contacts that only provide the correcting effect when the patient is wearing lenses.

Types of LASIK Eye Surgery

PRK for Nearsightedness

When a person is nearsighted, the eye is anatomically too long for the shape of that person’s cornea; therefore, the rays of light fall short of the person’s retina. This results in blurry vision for the patient.

To correct this blurry vision a patient can wear corrective lenses or potentially have PRK. With PRK, the corneal surface is flattened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. The results are that the rays of light now land in focus onto the retina giving a clear picture of the world to the patient.

PRK for Farsightedness

With PRK, the corneal surface is steepened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. The results are that the rays of light now land in focus onto the retina giving a clear picture of the world to the patient.

PRK for Astigmatism

When a person has astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing distortion to both distance and near vision. With PRK, the corneal surface is reshaped to be spherical so the light rays bend in the correct fashion to focus the light which results in a clear picture.

FAQs

How to Prepare for Your Procedure

Decrease Caffeine Intake

On the day of your procedure, please consume only a minimal amount of caffeine prior to your procedure. It is best that you are able to sleep after your procedure to help in the healing process.

Minimize Your Morning Routine

Do not wear any makeup, hair products, perfume, aftershave or lotion on the day of your procedure.

Follow Your Normal Meal Schedule

Do not change your eating habits prior to the procedure. Please discuss any medications you are currently taking with your doctor prior to the day of your procedure.

Bring a Friend

It will be necessary to arrange for someone to bring you in for the procedure and pick you up once the procedure is completed. Your guest is more than welcome to accompany you through your procedure. If they wish, they may watch your procedure live from our “friends and family viewing area.” If your guest chooses not to view the procedure, they may wait in our comfortable lounge or simply return to the center one hour after your arrival time.

Review the Informed Consent Document

Take the time to read the Informed Consent document prior to the day of your procedure. Please do not sign the document until you are with your surgeon on the day of your procedure. Additionally, if you happen to develop a cold sore the week of your surgery, please call us to let us know. For your safety, it may be best to reschedule your procedure if you have a cold sore.

What to Expect Day of Procedure

Arrive on Time

Plan to arrive at your scheduled check-in time.

Confirm Payment

Complete the financial arrangements for your procedure.

Overview Session

Meet with our doctors and staff to review your procedure and the plans for your post-operative care.

Meet the Surgeon

Meet with your surgeon to go over the detailed plan for your procedure.

Prepare for the Procedure

Receive relaxation medication to reduce your anxiety and Aleve to decrease discomfort after your procedure. Please let our doctors and staff know if you would prefer not to take the relaxation medication.

The Procedure

The procedure takes 5-10 minutes per eye. Only numbing eye drops are used as an anesthetic. Our team will make sure you are comfortable and will talk you through the entire process.

After the Procedure

After a final check by one of our doctors, you will be on your way home to rest with your eyes closed for the first several hours. You may take the additional relaxation medication that is provided if necessary to help you relax or sleep. Total office time is approximately 1.5-2 hours.

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After the PRK Procedure – Things To Do

Rest

Resting or sleeping is the best remedy for any post-operative discomfort. Use the additional relaxation medication that is provided, if necessary, and get some rest.

Wear your goggles (at bedtime)

Make sure to wear the eye shields provided to you while sleeping for the first week after surgery. These will prevent inadvertently touching or rubbing of your eyes while you are asleep.

Leave the bandage contact lens alone

This lens should remain on your eye(s) until it is removed at your post-operative appointment. If it should dislodge, do not replace it. Please call the office immediately.

Take the appropriate medications as instructed by your physician.

Medications may include:

Vitamin C: Take 500mg two times per day or take one 1,000mg tablet once per day, starting the day of the surgery and continuing for three months.
Neurontin 300mg Capsule: Take three times per day for five days. Its properties will help your comfort during healing.
Artificial Tears (Preservative-Free Only): Some patients experience scratchiness or irritation with mild light sensitivity to the lids in the operated eye for the first several days. This is generally worse in the morning and improves as the day goes on. For sensitivity, we recommend Ibuprofen (Advil), in addition to frequent dosing of preservative-free lubricant teardrops (artificial tears). Artificial tears can be used as often as the patient feels necessary to relieve the dry or scratchy sensation you may be experiencing post-surgery. You may use nonprescription preservative-free lubrication drops in the operated eye immediately after surgery, and as often as needed. You will be using these preservative-free drops for several weeks. They are available over the counter and can be purchased at your local pharmacy. Most find these to be helpful between medication eye drops, particularly in the morning. A preserved tear (sold in a bottle vs. individual dispensers) may be used after six weeks.
Gatifloxacin 0.5%: One drop four times a day for seven days in both eyes following the procedure. Do not begin using these eye drops prior to surgery; however, you will need to bring this with you the day of your procedure.
Prednisolone Acetate 1%: One drop four times per day for seven days in both eyes, then you will begin a drop-down schedule that will be explained in more detail on surgery day. Do not begin using these eye drops prior to surgery; however, you will need to bring this with you the day of your procedure.
Diclofenac (delays healing process): Use one drop every few hours as needed for extreme discomfort only during the first three days post-surgery. Do not begin using these eye drops prior to surgery; however, you will need to bring this with you the day of your procedure.
Tylenol 3: Take one to two Tylenol 3 (Tylenol with Codeine) every four hours as needed for discomfort and to help with sleeping. This will be given to you on the day of your surgery.
Valium: Take one tablet for discomfort and to help with sleep. This will be given to you on the day of your surgery.

After the PRK Procedure – Things NOT To Do

Do not touch your eyes for two weeks after your procedure.

Patients can experience eyelid swelling, tenderness, and slight redness of the eye for several days. No rubbing of the eyes should be done for four weeks following the surgery.

Do not wear make-up around the eyes for one week after surgery.

Do not swim or hot tub for at least two weeks after your procedure.

However, other physical activities (biking, working out, etc.) may be resumed on the second day after your procedure. Do not expose yourself to high-risk activities that can result in a direct blow to the eyes (e.g. an elbow in basketball) for at least the first month. If you participate in high-risk activities always wear protective eyewear.

Do not remove your bandage contact lens.

If it should dislodge, do not replace it – please call the office.