What You Need to Know About PRK Laser Eye Surgery and Recovery
If you’ve visited a refractive surgeon who has recommended PRK eye surgery, you’re likely wondering about the differences between PRK and LASIK and what will happen after you’ve had the procedure.
PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy, which is also commonly referred to as Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA). When a patient isn’t a candidate for LASIK, refractive surgeons rely on PRK, which is a highly effective procedure that was created prior to LASIK technology.
LASIK is also highly effective, but it requires that a patient’s eyes have a significant amount of corneal tissue. This is because LASIK involves creating a flap in the corneal tissue. This provides access to the cornea so the laser can be applied. The flap is then replaced, and healing begins, resulting in clearer vision. However, if a candidate has thinner corneal tissue, there won’t be enough tissue to create the flap. During PRK, the surgeon polishes off the surface of the cornea, which enables the laser to reshape the cornea and correct your vision.
It is important to know that these procedures are nearly identical – they’re both fast and efficient procedures. Most importantly, however, both lead to clearer, corrected vision. The leading vision correction doctors typically perform both LASIK and ASA. However, if your refractive surgeon explains that you’re a better candidate for ASA, there are some differences in terms of recovery time from PRK surgery or ASA that will be explored below.
What to Know about PRK Surgery Recovery Time
When you schedule a consultation with a highly recommended office for laser vision correction surgery, you’ll be given comprehensive information about the procedure. You’ll also learn about PRK surgery recovery time. You’ll learn that after about four weeks, you’ll have clearer vision without contacts or glasses. It is important to know that this procedure is different from LASIK, particularly because there is a longer recovery time involved.
Here is the key information you’ll discover at your consultation for PRK laser eye surgery:
- PRK eye surgery is safe, highly effective, and a great alternative to LASIK when your corneal tissue is too thin for a LASIK procedure. A refractive surgeon will use advanced diagnostics to make this determination.
- Much like LASIK, you can look forward to all the benefits of PRK, including clearer vision and avoiding infections and expenses related to contacts or the challenge of finding stylish glasses over and over again.
- PRK is a 10-to-15-minute procedure, equal to the amount of time it takes to perform a LASIK procedure.
- Because your corneal tissue is being removed, our refractive surgeons gently place a contact “bandage” on your eye, so the healing process can begin.
- Expect a six-to-eight-week recovery time. At four weeks, patients are generally recovering well, and their vision has improved to the 90% to 95% range.
- You will need to ensure someone can drive you to your appointments on the day of the procedure, as well as for your first two follow-up appointments.
- Your follow-up appointments are scheduled for day one and day four after your procedure.
- You will visit your refractive surgeon for follow-up visits in the first year after your surgery.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from PRK Surgery?
Patients often like to know what to expect as they heal from PRK eye surgery. Remember, first, that your recovery time will be longer than recovery from LASIK surgery. Expect a six-to-eight- week timeframe for full recovery and better vision. Outside of follow-up appointments and applying your medicated eye drops, your timeline will likely look like this:
- Patients are not cleared to drive until after the fourth day after the procedure. However, your vision should be suitable for daily tasks and watching TV.
- As your corneas begin to heal after the third day, you may experience vision halos, haziness, or double vision.
- Your refractive surgeon will remove your contact bandages on day four, and you still may experience some hazy and imperfect vision. However, you can now resume driving.
- During the second week, you’ll notice vision improvements, but there is still potential for double vision or imperfection.
- To take care of your eyes after your surgery, you will be given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops. These will protect your eyes during the healing process.
- Rest your eyes and don’t rub them to recover effectively. Be sure to have a game plan for assistance when you need it.
- By the time you reach four weeks, your vision will be in the 90 to 95% range, and you can look forward to clearer vision.
PRK surgery recovery time happens in increments – and each day will seem a little better. By the time you reach a month, your PRK laser eye surgery will be a success. You’ll no longer have to worry about the hassles, troubles, and expenses that come with contacts and glasses.
When you work with a superior team for PRK surgery, you’ll also have the opportunity to activate special financing offers and other promotions which can make the process of attaining better vision even more appealing.
Corrective vision surgery can be a powerful change for many patients, especially those who have wanted clearer vision without the downsides of contacts or glasses. Some patients even find a newfound confidence in their appearance, as well as a willingness to try new things, such as recreational activities that they didn’t participate in before because of their glasses.
As you decide on PRK surgery, you can learn more about the procedure and whether it sounds right for you.