For patients that are not ideal candidates for LASIK, Newsom Eye offers PRK or photorefractive keratectomy. This procedure is the preferred procedure for the military for its pilots and special forces and utilizes the same laser technology as LASIK. PRK however, does not require the creation of a protective corneal flap, which is used during the LASIK procedure. Both PRK and LASIK produce the same visual result, but PRK usually takes 3-5 days to recover, while LASIK only takes a few hours.
PRK is performed by numbing the corneal surface, then Dr. Newsom will gently remove the outer most layer of cells called epithelium cells. Next, your surgeon will use an excimer laser to help reshape your cornea to the desired shape, which was determined during your pre-op testing. After the procedure, a clear contact lens is placed on the eye and you will be sent home to rest.
Patients that undergo PRK will take slightly longer to heal and see well compared to LASIK. PRK may sometimes be preferable to LASIK, particularly for patients who have hobbies or careers with a high risk of physical contact to the eye, e.g. athletes. Most patients feel comfortable driving and returning to work just a few days after their procedure. PRK is a remarkable procedure that often results in 20/20 vision or better. PRK, just like LASIK, has been improving vision in the United States for over 20 years.