Photo Refractive Keratectomy – PRK
PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and is the predecessor to the popular LASIK procedure. Though PRK recovery takes a bit longer than recovery from LASIK eye surgery, PRK is still commonly performed and offers advantages over LASIK for some patients.
In PRK, the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed and discarded prior to reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. The epithelium repairs itself (grows back over the corneal surface) within a few days after surgery. A soft contact lens (“bandage contact lens”) is then placed on the cornea which is removed after 4-5 days.
PRK is of particular benefit if the cornea is too thin for LASIK. There also is no risk of flap complications, and the risk of removing too much of the cornea with the excimer laser is reduced.