Excimer Laser Vision Correction, known medically as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), is a precise, minimally invasive method of reshaping the cornea. Gordon-Weiss-Schanzlin Vision Institute eye surgeons use state-of-the-art, computerized Excimer Lasers to gently remove a thin layer of tissue from the cornea’s surface, flattening the cornea to achieve the desired correction. This reshaping of the cornea helps the eye to focus properly, thus reducing or eliminating the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Two variations of this procedure are called LASEK (Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis) and EPI-LASIK.
Prior to PRK, LASEK or EPI-LASIK, drops are placed in the eye to numb it, and an instrument is placed in the eye to keep you from blinking. The laser treatment itself takes approximately 20-30 seconds and is completely painless. During the 24-48 hours after the treatment, most patients will experience a gritty sensation in the eye as well as some discomfort. Typically the patient will notice improved vision 3-5 days following the treatment.
The results are remarkable. In the U.S. clinical trials for laser correction of nearsightedness, 100 percent of the patients studied experienced improved natural or uncorrected vision. Over 90 percent were returned to 20/40 sight or better – the “driving standard” in most states – and were able to enjoy life and perform most activities without glasses or contact lenses. Two-thirds achieved 20/20 vision.