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ASA - Advanced PRK

“The experience and applied research expertise of the Durrie Vision practice inspired great confidence in the process.” – Hai Chen

ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation)

ASA, formally known as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), was the first procedure performed using the Excimer laser. Like LASIK, it corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. Instead of using a laser to prepare the cornea for treatment, ASA is performed by removing the epithelium (outer skin of the cornea) and the laser is applied to the surface of the cornea. ASA is a very effective procedure as an alternative to LASIK.

Who is a Candidate for ASA?

ASA is an excellent solution for someone who is at least 18 years of age with one or more of the following common refractive errors or conditions:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Corneas too thin for LASIK

This procedure is typically reserved as an alternative to SBK advanced LASIK.  Factors that determine candidacy for ASA may include: corneal thickness, corneal issues such as scarring due to contact lenses, and previous eye surgery. During the Advanced Ocular Analysis, our surgeons will be able to tell you if this procedure is best suited for you.

What to Expect on the Day of the Procedure

On the day of your procedure, plan to be at the Durrie Vision surgery center for about 90 minutes.

You will need a driver to take you home as your vision may be blurry after the procedure.

Several tests will be repeated before your surgery.  Anesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye.

Then a small, gentle eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the procedure.

The epithelium layer of skin is gently polished off the surface of your eye.  Then, the excimer laser reshapes the cornea. A bandage contact lens is then placed on your eye to help with healing.  The entire process will take only a few minutes.

Post-Operative Care

Our post-operative technicians provide instructions regarding type and frequency of eye drops and restrictions. You will be given these instructions as well as eye shields to wear while sleeping for the first four nights. Eye drops are prescribed to help with comfort and healing. We will see you for a one day follow up as well as a four day follow up where we will take your bandage contact lenses out for you.

Post-Operative Visual Recovery Timeline

Day 1: Vision varies somewhat but is fairly functional.  (Some people can read close to 20/20 on the eye charts).  Many people have legal driving vision, although we do not recommend driving.  Vision is usually adequate for normal visual tasks like watching TV, some computer work, etc.

Day 2: Vision is usually about the same as day 1, fairly functional for normal visual tasks.

Day 3: As the epithelium regenerates into the line of sight vision usually declines. Vision may seem hazy, doubled, or with multiple images. Computer work could be difficult.

Day 4: Vision is about the same as day 3, hazy and doubled. The bandage contact lens is usually removed. Although vision really starts to improve, the next few days could still be hazy, doubled, and not perfect. Most patients can resume normal visual tasks. Most patients can do computer work at this time, but it can be difficult. Most have legal driving vision but the clarity is decreased.

Week 2: Patients are doing fine, and their vision is continuing to improve.  Vision at this point can still be somewhat doubled or decreased.  Some patients whose job requires fine detail (like surgeons) should be advised that their vision to perform their work might be difficult for 2 weeks after surgery.

Week 3-4: Patients are doing well with vision at about the 90% to 95% level.

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