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PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is the first generation procedure to correct refractive errors by Excimer Laser. It was approved by FDA in 1995.

It corrects myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. PRK is an outpatient surgery and takes approximately 5-15 minutes per eye to complete. The procedure is generally painless. Before the procedure, anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. During the procedure, an instrument holds the eyelid open and the patient is asked to focus on a target light.

The surgeon then removes the surface layer of the cornea (the corneal epithelium) and uses an Excimer laser to apply computer- controlled pulses of light energy to reshape the cornea. After PRK is completed, the surgeon inserts a bandage contact lens to protect the cornea as the epithelial layer grows back over the next 3-4 days.

This also helps decrease the discomfort experienced during this time. Patients usually experience pain, tearing, sensitivity to light, and a moderate amount of blurred vision which may prevent driving during the first 3 days.

These phenomena are typically worst on the first and second day after the procedure, but improve greatly by the fourth and fifth days as the surface layer of the cornea grows back. Bandage Contact Lens is removed on 4-5 days. The vision is much improved by this time.

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