Preoperative Visit: We will remeasure your refraction,
determine the thickness of your corneas, obtain corneal topography
maps and perform a dilated examination of your eyes. If you wore
contact lenses just prior to the screening examination, you must
not wear them for the preoperative visit. Soft contact lenses need
to be out 3 days. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) and hard contact lenses
need to be out 3 weeks. Dr. Miller will describe the PRK procedure
and give you an opportunity to ask questions. At that time you will
decide whether you want to be far-sighted in both eyes or retain
near vision in one eye, a refractive state known as monovision.
A Consent Form for PRK must be signed prior to surgery. Please allow
2 to 3 hours to complete the preoperative examination.
Day of Surgery: Report to the Laser Refractive Center
on the first floor of the Doris Stein Eye Research Center. It is
the suite immediately behind the statue. You should not wear your
contact lenses for the 12 to 24 hours preceding surgery. You may
eat or drink whatever you like in the morning. Wear comfortable
clothing. You will be at the Refractive Center about 1 1/2 hours.
The procedure itself takes 10 minutes. A bandage contact lens is
put on the eye at the end of the procedure to make the postoperative
recovery period a little more comfortable than it would be otherwise.
Because it can take several weeks for recovery of vision, PRK is
usually performed on only one eye at a time.
After Surgery: The vision in your operated eye will be very
blurry. You must arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home.
Once the anesthesia wears off, usually 20 to 30 minutes after the
procedure, your eye will burn, sting, tear and hurt. It will feel
like there is sand in it, and it will be light sensitive. These
symptoms usually last 2 to 3 days. It’s best to go home, get into
a dark room and sleep until the worst of the symptoms wear off.
Carefully follow the PRK Postoperative Instructions. It is absolutely
critical that you do not rub your eyes. Doing so could abrade the
corneal epithelium. For most people, vision in the operated eye
is very blurry for 2 to 4 days. Full recovery of vision takes about
3 weeks. You must return the day after surgery, 3 to 4 days after,
and one month later for follow-up examinations.