Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

About PRK

Refractive error is a common vision problem that occurs when the shape of the cornea prevents light from correctly focusing onto the retina. Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is an outpatient LASER VISION CORRECTION surgery that is used to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

During PRK surgery, an advanced excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to properly correct your vision.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (prk) Crestview & Okaloosa County

Learn More About PRK

PRK is effective in correcting nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. 

In cases where the cornea is very thin, PRK may be an alternative to LASIK surgery and has been shown to be just as effective. This can be decided only after a thorough eye evaluation. Dr. Alabata has been performing LASER VISION CORRECTION surgery since 2002. He can help you decide if PRK is the right choice for you to achieve great visual function with little or no need for glasses or contact lenses. 

While Dr. Alabata can decide if you are a good candidate for PRK surgery, you need to meet certain general requirements.

These include: 

  • an eyeglass or contact lens prescription that has been stable for at least one year
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have healthy corneas with no conditions that may affect the healing of your eyes, such as: autoimmune disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, cataract, glaucoma, or corneal scarring
  • not be pregnant or breastfeeding

An eye-numbing medication is used to prevent you from feeling any discomfort or irritation during the procedure. The epithelium or top layer of the cornea is gently removed. An advanced excimer laser is then used to eliminate precise microscopic layers of tissue from the cornea. This laser allows for a high degree of accuracy in correcting the refractive error associated with the irregularly shaped cornea resulting in crisp uncorrected visual function. 

After the procedure, Dr. Alabata will gently place a bandage contact lens over the eye to promote its healing and comfort. You can expect this to stay in place for several days for up to 1 week until your epithelium layer is completely healed. 

The entire procedure for both eyes may take approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery while your vision is blurry. You should also refrain from water activities or working in dirty or dusty environments while your bandage contact lens is in place. Once your epithelium is healed, your bandage contact lens will be removed. This may be several days to up to 1 week. You will notice a significant improvement in your vision as your epithelium heals and once the bandage contact lens is removed. Please note that the healing process during PRK recovery takes longer than for LASIK since the epithelium is removed from the surface of the eye and has to heal. You will have regularly scheduled follow-up appointments so Dr. Alabata can monitor your visual improvement or take care of any corneal issues that may occur.

You may experience fluctuations in your vision as your cornea continues to stabilize. In fact, your visual clarity may continue to improve for up to 6 months out. Follow your postoperative regimen, prescribed medication drops, and lubricant drops closely to achieve optimal results.

After just a month of recovery time, 80% of patients notice a continued improvement in their eyesight, and 95% continue to achieve greater clarity by three months post-op.  Keep in mind that you might have minor refractive errors remaining after PRK surgery that may be too insignificant to undergo a second laser treatment, but that can cause some blurriness.

If this is the case, you might want to purchase a pair of glasses for use as needed for activities such as driving at night. Also, depending on your age, you might need progressive lenses in order to see small print.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Alabata to find out if PRK or another type of LASER VISION CORRECTION surgery is right for you. A referral is not required. We can give you an accurate recommendation based upon your evaluation and your needs.

Schedule now by completing this form or calling us at (850) 331-3937 to discuss with Dr. Phil Alabata if you are a candidate for PRK. A referral is not required.