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Refractive Surgery: PRKCirug­a refractiva: Queratectom­a fotorrefractiva

Refractive Surgery: PRK

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a procedure to reshape corneal tissue to help you see better without glasses or corrective lenses. This procedure uses an excimer laser. This laser produces a concentrated beam of cool ultraviolet (UV) light. Each pulse of the laser can remove a tiny portion of corneal tissue. PRK can be used to treat low to moderate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

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What to Expect

  • Before treatment, you may be given medication to help you relax.

  • Eyedrops numb your eyes. A device is used to keep your eyes open.

  • A small surgical tool or the laser is first used to remove the central portion of the epithelium. Laser treatment lasts for 10-90 seconds.

  • After laser treatment, you will wear a contact lens as a bandage for a few days. This protects the cornea as it heals.

  • For a few days after the procedure, your vision may seem worse. It should begin to improve in about 5 days, and become stable in about 6 months.

Cons of PRK

  • Mild to moderate pain after surgery

  • Longer vision recovery than LASIK

  • May need to use eyedrops for 3 months or longer

  • Risk of corneal scarring or haze

  • Risk of temporary or permanent dry eye

  • Risk of night vision problems, such as halos, glare, or starbursts

  • Risk of undercorrection or overcorrection

  • Risk of loss of best corrected vision

Pros of PRK

  • No risk of flap complications

  • Better for patients with thin corneas, previous glaucoma surgery, mild corneal scars, or other cornea problems

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-08-26T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2003-06-23T00:00:00-06:00