Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is one of the safest and most time-tested laser vision correction procedures available. Like LASIK, it reshapes the cornea to improve vision.
The first step in PRK is to remove the cornea (known as the epithelium), a thin layer protecting the cornea. Then the surgeon uses an excimer laser to vaporize a small amount of tissue from the top of the cornea to reshape this area. LASIK, by contrast, cuts a shallow flap in the cornea using a second laser (known as the Intralase).
Following PRK, the epithelium takes three to ten days to resurface the eye. This healing time variation depends upon a number of factors such as: the size of the area treated; the health of the patient’s underlying epithelial cells; individual variability in healing rates, and the toxicity of certain medication which are applied to the surface of the cornea after PRK. Following PRK, in every case, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to act as a splint to assist in the healing and to make the eye more comfortable.
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