People suffering from refractive errors, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism, don’t have to rely on contact lenses and eyeglasses for their entire lives. PRK eye surgery is an extremely effective procedure that liberates you from the need to wear contacts and eyeglasses for a lifetime. West Coast Eye Institute is proud to be the leading LASIK and PRK practice in Bakersfield, CA.

What is PRK eye surgery?

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a common eye surgery used to correct refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. This is a permanent procedure that liberates you from eyeglasses and contact lenses for a lifetime. This procedure essentially reshapes the cornea to ensure it refracts light correctly onto the retina, thus ensuring the optimal clarity of vision.

PRK eye surgery treats the following conditions:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness): Objects far from your vision appear blurry.
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness): Objects close to your vision appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism: All objects appear blurry, regardless of the distance.
girl's eye

How does PRK eye surgery work?

To understand how PRK eye surgery works, you must understand the basics of refractive problems. In eyes with normal vision, the cornea bends light towards the retina at the back of the eye, thus ensuring optimal visual acuity. If your cornea is misshapen, it doesn’t refract light correctly towards the retina, leading to numerous refractive errors.

PRK eye surgery is an in-office procedure wherein a special laser device is used to reshape the cornea. Your surgeon will remove and discard the outer layer of the cornea (epithelial) and then correct its shape. The outer layer will eventually grow back after some time. Meanwhile, the reshaped cornea will refract light optimally into the retina, restoring perfect vision.

girl's eye

What’s the difference between PRK and LASIK eye surgery?

PRK is widely considered an alternative to the popular LASIK eye surgery. Both are in-office and outpatient eye surgeries that correct refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, the two surgeries are performed using different techniques.

During PRK surgery, the surgeon removes and discards the epithelial layer to reshape the underlying cornea. During LASIK surgery, the surgeon creates a flap on the epithelial layer to modify the underlying cornea. To be eligible for LASIK eye surgery, you need to have sufficient corneal tissues to create a flap on the epithelial layer. That’s why patients with extremely poor vision are often advised to undergo PRK surgery instead.

Am I a suitable candidate for PRK eye surgery?

PRK eye surgery is meant for generally healthy patients with refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It doesn’t treat other eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma, and it’s not suitable for pregnant women. To be eligible for PRK eye surgery, you also need to have a stable prescription for over a year.

During your consultation, the eye surgeon will carefully examine your eyes to ensure they’re healthy enough for the procedure. The surgeon will also perform corneal mapping to measure the contours of your cornea and determine if you’re a viable candidate. Based on their assessments, they’ll determine if you should proceed with PRK eye surgery or another procedure, such as LASIK eye surgery.

What happens during the PRK procedure?

PRK eye surgery is performed as an in-office procedure that concludes within 15 minutes. An anesthetic eye drop will be used to ensure a comfortable experience. The surgeon will ask you to look into a specific light, following which a special laser will be used to change the shape of your cornea. You’ll notice the laser being used, but you won’t feel it.

What are the side effects of PRK surgery?

You may experience mild discomfort for up to three days after the surgery, but that can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Your eyes may also feel a little irritated and watery. Some people see halos of light for a few days after the surgery, especially at night, but these side effects dissipate soon. Your surgeon will provide a list of post-treatment recovery guidelines to ensure optimal recovery.

Schedule your PRK eye surgery in Bakersfield, CA

West Coast Eye Institute is the leading PRK and LASIK ophthalmology practice in Bakersfield, CA. If you want to be liberated from eyeglasses and contact lenses forever, please contact our Harvard-trained refractive surgeons for a one-on-one consultation. Our surgeon will carefully assess your goals and requirements to determine if you’re a viable candidate for the procedure.