Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

What is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) surgery?

Similar to the LasikHD surgery, PRK surgery corrects the way light enters the cornea in order to give you clearer vision. LasikHD surgery uses a laser to prepare the cornea for treatment while during PRK surgery the tissue is gently wiped from the cornea.

PRK surgery requires a slightly longer recovery time, but results are the same as with LasikHD surgery.

Following the PRK procedure, a soft contact lens is placed on the eye to act as a bandage. This allows patients to see and function while the corneal tissue regenerates and heals beneath it during the days immediately following the PRK treatment. Vision may be blurry during this initial recovery time and you may experience brief periods of discomfort or irritation.

Prescribed anti-inflammatory and lubricating drops will minimize post-procedural discomfort and speed up the healing process. As with LasikHD surgery, the result is always clearer vision.

Thanks to our ophthalmologists’ PRK technique at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic, PRK can offer distinct benefits to patients who clinically do not qualify for LasikHD due to thin corneas.

What eye problems does PRK surgery address?

The Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic PRK surgery procedure will address nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Who are ideal PRK surgery candidates?

  • LasikHD candidates with thin corneas. Your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic ophthalmologist will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine corneal thickness.
  • Patients who suffer from chronic dry eye.
  • Patients with extremely active lifestyles or professions.

The PRK surgery procedure comprises of four steps:

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4

Initial eye exam at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

A 90 minute consultation will determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction. Your ophthalmologist will perform various tests similar to a normal eye examination as well as a scan of the eyes to determine certain PRK related information.

During your consultation your ophthalmologist will:

  • Test your visual acuity and visual field (peripheral vision).
  • Measure your corneal thickness and topography (shape of the eye).
  • Read your previous eye prescription using your glasses’ lenses.
  • Exam your pupils for reactivity.
  • Evaluate the muscle function and dominance of your eyes.
  • Assess the health of eye using a pupil dilatation and slit-lamp test.
  • Check for Glaucoma assessing your eyes’ pressure.
  • Inspect the health of your peripheral retina.
  • Assess your overall medical health.
  • Discuss your hobbies and occupation.

All of these factors will assist your ophthalmologist to determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction surgery and which procedure is best suited for you. Once completed, this assessment will determine your unique treatment at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic.

Step 2: Determining whether you are a PRK candidate

Results from the initial eye examination, your doctor will suggest a treatment which is customised to your prescription, eye anatomy and personal needs. Your corneal thickness will determine if PRK is a more suitable option for you.

PRK treatment is recommended for:

  • Patients with thin or abnormal corneas.
  • Patients sufferings from chronic dry eyes.
  • Patients who have high impact, strenuous occupations or hobbies (Karate or Firefighters)

Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctors understand the importance of tailor making treatment plans for its patients and take into consideration numerous complex factors to ensure you receive the treatment that is best suited for you.

The PRK procedure at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

On the day you are required to be at the Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic rooms for about 2 to 3 hours. This will allow enough time for registration, preparation, treatment and final eye testing. The PRK procedure is very short and takes roughly 15 min per eye.

After the procedure, a contact lens will be placed on the surface of the eye which will assist healing and minimise discomfort. During your 5 day post-op consultation, your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic ophthalmologist will remove the contact lens after which you can resume your daily activities.

Post-operative care

Vision will stabilise after 5 days and full results will be realised within 1 – 2 weeks.
Your ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops and antibiotics as well as give you a pair of protective glasses to wear at night.
Your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctor will schedule a few routine post-op visits to ensure your treatment is a success and you are 100% satisfied.

Life after PRK surgery

At Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic, your post-op care is very important to us. We therefore schedule visits with our ophthalmologists periodically after your treatment.

The first 24 hours after PRK surgery:

  • The ophthalmologist will perform a post-op check-up and you will be given a pair of protective glasses that you will need to wear for several hours after the surgery.
  • Ensure you organise a driver home.
  • The artificial tears provided by your doctor will help ease any irritation you may experience after the PRK Laser surgery.
  • If you experience any irritation it is important not to rub, poke or touch your eyes.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on using your steroid and antibiotic eye drops.
  • Use this time to rest and relax.
  • Do not strain your eyes through reading, computer work or watching TV.

Five days after PRK surgery:

  • A 5-day post-op consultation with your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctors is required to remove the protective contact lens.
  • Most patients are able to drive to their follow-up appointment however if you do not feel comfortable, please ask someone to drive for you.
  • You are now free to pursue any hobbies or activities that were part of your normal routine before the PRK procedure.
  • Continue following your doctor’s recommendations regarding eye drops and be sure to keep water, soap and shampoo out of your eyes when showering.
  • You may read, use the computer and watch TV, but keep your eyes well lubricated and rest them if they feel strained. Be sure to keep sweat out of your eyes and avoid all lotions, creams and eye makeup for seven days.

Two weeks after PRK surgery:

  • A two-week post-op consultation with your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctor is required to closely monitor your recovery.
  • As your cornea heals (typically a 14-day process) you will begin to notice additional clarity in your vision.

One Month after PRK surgery:

  • A post-op consultation with your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctor is required between one and three months after your PRK treatment. With a clean bill of health, you will be released from care.