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Boise , Idaho , 83702 USA

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Care Credit financing for LASIK at Artisan Optics

PRK (or photorefractive keratectomy) is laser vision correction similiar to LASIK.

PRK is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It differs from LASIK surgery in that no corneal flap is created prior to the laser vision correction treatment.

PRK can be performed on thinner corneas.  Since no corneal flap is required, more of the patient's corneal thickness is available for laser treatments.  An alternative to PRK is IntraLase LASIK.  IntraLase LASIK is also known as "bladeless LASIK" and is also be used for patients with thinner corneas.

How is PRK performed?

  • Anesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye to numb the cornea and prevent discomfort during the procedure.
  • A small instrument is used to hold both eyelids open throughout the procedure.
  • During the PRK procedure, the surgeon gently removes the thin, outer layer of corneal cells (called the epithelium) that has been softened with the anesthetic eye drops and / or a weak alcohol solution.  This is performed manually with a surgical spatula or rotating brush.
  • After the epithelium has been removed, the Excimer laser changes the shape of the cornea in order to correct the vision.  This part of the procedure takes less than one minute for most patients.
  • Following the laser vison correction procedure, the surgeon places a clear, bandage contact lens on the eye for improved comfort.  This contact lens is left on the eye for 3 to 4 days while the epithelium grows back over the surface of the cornea.
  • Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drop medications are prescribed for use for a period of time after PRK to reduce the risk of infection and facilitate the healing process.  Only eye drops approved by the doctor should be used.
  • Any post-operative discomfort is usually treated with over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol.

Most patients need to continue using medicated eye drops for 6 to 12 weeks after PRK.  Some patients may need to continue to use the drops for up to 6 months or longer.   Typically, patients who have higher amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism will need to use medicated eye drops longer than patients who have mild prescriptions prior to surgery.

The eyes are dry after PRK, even though they may not feel that way.  Punctal plugs and / or preservative-free rewetting drops are used to treat this condition.  Keeping the corneas well hydrated is important to the healing process.

The majority of patients return to everyday activities within 2 to 5 days after surgery. Following PRK vision may fluctuate between clear and blurry for the first few weeks following surgery. Glasses for night driving or reading may be helpful until vision stabilizes. Vision will gradually improve, but your best vision may not be obtained for up to 6 weeks to 6 months following surgery.

PRK is an excellent alternative when neither LASIK or IntraLase LASIK are options. 

Watch The Video: An Artisan Optics Patient Talks About Life After LASIK