Laser Eye Surgery PRK – PreOp Patient Education HD


Your doctor has recommended that you undergo
Photorefractive Keratectomy – or PRK Laser surgery – to correct a vision problem. But
what does that actually mean? The human eye is constructed like a camera
… with a clear lens in the front and light-sensitive tissue at the rear. This tissue makes up the
retina which acts like photographic film. In an eye that has perfect vision, light rays
passing through the pupil are focused by the lens to fall precisely at the center of the
retina. There are many common problems that can affect the eye and prevent light rays
from focusing properly on the retina. Three of these problems, myopia – or nearsightedness;
hyperopia – or farsightedness; and astigmatism can often be corrected or reduced with the
use of PRK laser surgery. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the
shape of the eye is too long or the curve of the cornea is too extreme. In this case,
light rays are focused on a point in front of the retina – instead of on the retina itself. Hyperopia, or farsightedness, occurs when
the shape of the eye is too short. In this case, light rays are focused on a point behind
the retina. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is unevenly
curved, causing light rays to fall off center or not
to focus properly at all. In either case, PRK laser surgery can be used
to flatten all or part of the cornea … allowing your doctor to cause the focal point of light
entering the eye to fall more closely to the center of the surface of the retina. PRK is a simple and nonintrusive procedure
that is designed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. PRK laser
surgery generally does not have any effect on a patient’s overall health and there are
no risks in choosing not to have the surgery. Your Procedure: On the day of your operation, you will be
asked to put on a surgical gown. You may receive a sedative by mouth and an
intravenous line may be put in. You will then be transferred to the operating
table. and you’ll be given an anesthetic in the form
of eye drops and an eyelid holder will be placed around the eye to prevent blinking. When the operative field is numb, the doctor
will carefully remove the epithelium, or top layer of cells, exposing the stroma – the
non-cellular portion of the cornea. Next, your doctor will use a computer to control
pulses of cool laser light. These pulses will delicately remove microscopically
thin layers of cells from the stroma. By removing tissue in this manner, your doctor will tailor
the new shape of your cornea according to the exact nature of your vision problem. The entire procedure usually takes about 5
minutes and is painless. Following surgery, you’ll be given protective
contact lenses to wear for a few days while the outer layer of cells grows back.

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