Before undergoing PRK, or any refractive surgery at Gig Harbor or any of our clinic locations, a patient receives a complete eye exam. If PRK is determined to be the best option, the eye surgeon would create a three-dimensional map of the eye using the WAVESCAN guided CustomVue™ technique. By creating this detailed “fingerprint” of the eye, the surgeon is able to tailor the PRK procedure to each patient's eye anatomy and visual requirements.
Like LASIK, PRK involves using a precision excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Where the procedures differ is in their approach of exposing the inner layers of the cornea. The first surgical step in a LASIK procedure is to create a partial-thickness hinged flap of the cornea, with PRK there is no flap. Instead, the surgeon gently removes the outer corneal layer (epithelium). This layer will grow back quickly. At the time of PRK surgery, a soft bandage contact lens is placed to protect the eye for a few days while the epithelium heals.
Because PRK eye surgery is performed using anesthetic eye drops, the procedure is comfortable. Visual recovery time for PRK takes longer (weeks) than for LASIK (overnight or within a few days). Some patients report mild pain or discomfort after PRK. LASIK is generally preferred by patients because of the speed of visual recovery. Some conditions of the cornea make PRK a better choice. Let us help you find the right surgery in Puyallup or Tacoma for your eyes.