Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is surgery to improve your vision. You can have PRK surgery in one or both eyes. The doctor used special instruments to keep your eye open. The cells on the surface of your eye were removed or pulled to one side. Then the doctor used a special laser to remove tissue and reshape the outside layer of your eyeball (cornea). Afterward, the doctor placed a contact lens on your eye as a bandage.
Your eye will hurt, burn, or itch for 3 or 4 days after surgery. Your vision may be blurry, your eyes may water, your nose may run, or you may feel like there is something in your eye. But it is important not to rub your eye. Rubbing your eye could damage it.
Do not remove the contact lens in your eye. The doctor will remove this lens 2 to 4 days after surgery.
At first, your vision may be better. But it may get slightly worse. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to be able to see clearly. But you will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in about 5 days.
It is common to be sensitive to light or to see starbursts or halos for 1 to 3 weeks. Most people will see well in a few weeks, but for some people, it takes 3 to 6 months to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible.
Your doctor will recommend or prescribe pain medicines. He or she will also give you eyedrops to prevent infection and to help with dryness. Your eye may feel dry for 1 to 3 months after surgery.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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