How Will PRK Surgery Work to Correct My Vision?

Ophthalmologist & LASIK Surgeon Serving Chicago, Lombard & Naperville areas of Illinois

Posted: February 27, 2019

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a type of vision correction surgery designed to treat refractive vision errors. PRK is a great option for patients who are not eligible for LASIK, and it can protect the future health of your cornea. Learn more about PRK surgery and how it can improve your vision.

PRK Surgery for Refractive Vision Errors

PRK surgery can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses and contacts by correcting the following refractive vision errors:Close-up of Woman's Eye After PRK at Foulkes Vision

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

PRK cannot correct presbyopia, an age-related change in your eyes that affects your ability to read and see things that are close. If you’d like to treat presbyopia, Dr. Foulkes may suggest KAMRA™ Inlay instead.

The PRK Procedure

Dr. Foulkes performs PRK as an outpatient procedure. Each eye takes about 10 to 15 minutes to treat.

On the day of your appointment, you’ll visit our Chicago or Lombard, Illinois, office. The procedure includes:

  • Step One: Dr. Foulkes will put numbing drops in your eyes.
  • Step Two: Dr. Foulkes will place a lid speculum on your eyes to prevent you from blinking during the procedure.
  • Step Three: Dr. Foulkes will use a specialized excimer laser to remove the outer layer of your cornea, called the epithelium.
  • Step Four: Dr. Foulkes will use another laser to re-shape the cornea itself, correcting your refractive error. The laser will be programmed to your exact prescription, ensuring precise results.

To stop your eyes from moving during the procedure, Dr. Foulkes will ask you to stare at a target light. Don't worry if you look away involuntarily — the laser tracks and adjusts to eye movements. It will shut off if you move your face out of the treatment zone.

You will hear a clicking sound while Dr. Foulkes uses the laser to remove your epithelium and reshape the underlying tissues. The clicking sound is completely normal as the pulse of laser energy is emitted.

Remember that Dr. Foulkes has full control of the laser and can shut it off at any time. However, you should feel little to no discomfort while the procedure is performed. Some patients report feeling slight pressure on the eye being treated.

Results of PRK Surgery

You should have a loved one drive you home after surgery, and you will need to rest the remainder of the day. You can usually return to work and resume your daily activities within one to three days, but avoid strenuous activity for up to a week. You should not participate in contact sports or other activities that could injure your eyes until they’re fully healed.

Your epithelium will naturally regrow several days after treatment. Until then, your eyes will be protected with bandage contact lenses. After four to five days, you will need to return to our office so Dr. Foulkes can remove these lenses.

You may experience blurry vision immediately following PRK. This should gradually improve over the course of several days as your eyes begin to heal.

While it may take a month or more to see final results, most people have 20/20 vision after PRK surgery. Ninety-five percent of our patients say they can see clearly within three months of the procedure.

Schedule Your Free PRK Consultation in Chicago

Dr. Foulkes is highly trained and experienced in refractive vision surgery. To schedule a free PRK consultation with him, call 630-724-1400 or fill out the form on this page. Foulkes Vision serves patients in Chicago, Lombard and surrounding areas of Illinois.