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- What is photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)?
- What vision problems are treated with photorefractive keratectomy?
- Who is a good candidate for photorefractive keratectomy?
- What are the potential side effects and complications of photorefractive keratectomy?
- How do I prepare for a photorefractive keratectomy?
- What happens during the photorefractive keratectomy procedure?
- What follow-up care is needed after a photorefractive keratectomy?
- What is the prognosis after a photorefractive keratectomy?
What is the prognosis after a photorefractive keratectomy?
Generally the success rate is very good. Assuming there are no underlying medical conditions that could adversely affect the healing process, the surface of the eye is usually healed in a few days and a stable refraction is achieved in the weeks and months following the procedure.
Over time there may be a need to use corrective eyewear again, either because some of the corrective effect regresses, or because the underlying refractive error was still in flux and had not stabilized completely prior to the procedure. Re-treatment with further photorefractive keratectomy is often possible at a later date.
Patients under the age of 40 who correct their distance vision with photorefractive keratectomy will still need to use reading glasses when presbyopia sets in. Presbyopia is the inability to see well close up due to age-related changes in the eye. Patients over 40 who already have presbyopia can opt to have one eye corrected for distance while having the other eye corrected for near. This is called “monovision.” The eye doctor will discuss these options with you in the preoperative screening.
Medically reviewed by William Baer, MD; Board Certified Ophthalmology
O'Brart, D. P. "Excimer laser surface ablation: a review of recent literature." Clinical & Experimental Optometry 97.1 (2014): 12-17.
Woreta, F. A., et al. "Management of post-photorefractive keratectomy pain." Survey of Ophthalmology 58.6 (2013): 529-535.