Pre- and Post-Operative Care for PRK Patients


An elderly man riding a bicycle.If you have been told you are not a candidate for LASIK because you have thin corneas, but you still want to achieve reduced dependency upon corrective eyewear, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) may be the answer. PRK surgery is similar to LASIK, but it refines the outer layers of the cornea, rather than the inner layers. At Sather Eye Clinic and Optical, Dr. Thomas Sather can provide all of the pre- and post-operative care you need for PRK surgery. While we do not perform PRK at our Bozeman practice, we can refer you to some of the area's best surgeons, and facilitate your pre- and post-operative care. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through this extremely beneficial treatment. 

What Is PRK?

PRK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions occur when your cornea cannot properly refract light. When light enters your eyes, it refracts once as it passes through your cornea (the dome-like area at the front of the eye) and again when it passes through the crystalline lens that lies behind the cornea. Light is focused on the retina, and converted to electrical impulses that travel to the brain, allowing you to perceive images. PRK works to correct refraction so that light focuses properly on the retina.

During surgery, your surgeon will gently remove the surface (epithelial) layer of your cornea. Next, a laser will reshape your corneal tissue. When the surgery is complete, you will wear a soft contact lens to protect the cornea as it heals. The outer layer of the cornea is very thin, and it will heal within a few weeks. PRK has a very high success rate, and many patients enjoy 20/20 vision or better after their procedures.

We work locally with the TLC Laser Eye Centers® and the Restore Vision Centers® of Boise and Spokane. These trusted partners have an impeccable reputation for delivering safe, effective PRK surgery.

Pre-operative Screenings

Before you undergo PRK, Dr. Sather will conduct a careful screening to ensure that you are a good candidate for this procedure. Although PRK is very safe, certain medical conditions can increase the risk of complications. Dr. Sather will examine your medical history and inquire about conditions such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases. He will also screen for retinal abnormalities and check the curvature of your corneas. The entire appointment typically takes about an hour and a half, including dilating your pupils. Although most patients are able to drive afterwards, you may want to arrange for a ride home following your appointment if it would make you feel more comfortable.

Post-operative Care

Although PRK is safe and most patients experience very few side effects, by providing you with ongoing post-procedural care, Dr. Sather can further reduce your risk for complications. Potential risks include redness, irritation, infection, blurred vision, halos, glares, and dry eye. Of these, dry eye is the most common complication, and it can be easily treated during post-op care. We usually schedule three to six checkup appointments to monitor patient recovery.

Contact Us

To schedule your pre-operative screening and find out if PRK is right for you, contact Sather Eye Clinic and Optical today.

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