Photorefractive Keratectomy (cont.)
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Before your PRK surgery you will have met with a coordinator who will discuss with you what you should expect during and after the surgery. During this session your medical history will be evaluated as well as have your eyes tested. Likely tests will include measuring corneal thickness, refraction, and pupil dilation. Once you have gone through your evaluation, you will meet the surgeon, who will answer any further questions you may have. Afterwards, you can schedule an appointment for the PRK procedure.
If you wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, you should not wear them starting three weeks before the date of your surgery. Other types of contact lenses shouldn't be worn for at least three days prior to surgery. Be sure to bring your glasses so your prescription can be reviewed.
On the day of your surgery, eat a light meal before coming and take all of your prescribed medications. Do not wear eye makeup or have any bulky accessories in your hair that will interfere with positioning your head under the laser. If you are not feeling well that morning, call the doctor's office to determine whether the procedure needs to be postponed.
The PRK procedure is done under local anesthesia and takes a maximum of about 10 minutes to do both eyes. During PRK, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea not underneath the cornea, as in LASIK.
Most of the time, a bandage contact lens will be applied immediately after the procedure. This contact lens is usually worn for the first 3 to 4 days to allow the surface of the eye to heal. You should expect to visit your eye doctor at least a few times during the first 6 months after surgery, with the first visit being the day after surgery. Once the surface of the eye is healed, the bandage contact lens is removed.
Your vision may fluctuate between clear and blurry for the first few weeks following surgery and you may need to wear glasses for night driving or reading until your vision stabilizes. Your eyes will be dry even though they do not feel that way. Your doctor will give you prescription eye drops to prevent infection and keep your eyes moist. These drops may cause a slight burn or momentary blurring of your vision upon using them. Do not use any drops not approved by your ophthalmologist.
Your vision will gradually improve, and usually will be good enough to allow you to drive a car within two to three weeks following surgery. Keep in mind, however, that your best vision may not be obtained for up to 6 weeks to 6 months following surgery.