Dello Russo

Common Questions and Answers about PRK

What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?

PRK is the predecessor of Lasik surgery. At Dello Russo LaserVision, we use two laser technologies to create a thin, hinged flap on the cornea in order to access the stromal layer of the cornea and to reshape the cornea.

In a typical PRK surgery, no flap is created. The cornea’s outer (epithelial) layer is removed in order to expose the stromal layer. At that point the doctor uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, similarly to Lasik. During the recovery process, a new epithelial layer regenerates and replaces the one that was removed.

Who is an ideal candidate for PRK?

Only our eye surgeons can determine whether PRK or Lasik is the right option for you. Generally, patients with thin corneas are ideal candidates for PRK because their corneas cannot physically support the creation of the flap required in Lasik surgery. Patients who have already had a previous refractive surgery also opt for PRK because they have a thinner residual cornea.

How do I know if PRK is right for me?

After you make your complimentary consultation appointment with Drs. Jeff and Joe Dello Russo at their New York or New Jersey locations, in which you will receive a thorough eye exam and evaluation, you will be recommended with Lasik, PRK or other solutions to improve your vision. Call 800-EYE-CARE to schedule a time to come in.

How is PRK performed?

Drs. Dello Russo personally perform all PRK surgeries using the best excimer laser technology on the market. Before the surgery, numbing eye drops are applied to the eyes.

Patients are given an oral sedative to help with relaxation as they will be awake during the procedure. A brush is used to gently remove the surface cells.

The excimer laser, which is programmed to each patient’s specific eye prescription, will then deliver pulses of ultraviolet light into the cornea.

After the procedure is done, a bandage contact lens will be placed over the eyes as the cornea heals. After about five days the surgeon will remove the bandage contact lens.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure takes about five to seven minutes.

Is PRK painful?

There is no pain during the procedure, but there is discomfort for about 24 hours.. Patients are given a numbing solution and an analgesic for the first day or so.

What is the downtime for PRK?

The recovery process for PRK is longer than that of LASIK. Your epithelial layer needs time to regenerate. It can take days to see very well, usually about three.

You can return home immediately after the surgery but you must be driven home by someone else. You may need about two days to rest before returning to work. Patients typically resume driving after about three days.

What are the aftercare instructions for PRK?

You will be on topical antibiotics as well as anti-inflammatory and pain medications. This will reduce the risk of infection, swelling and discomfort after the surgery. You must avoid direct exposure to sunlight while your eyes are healing. Make sure to wear sunglasses outdoors and avoid contact sports, water sports, and high altitudes while your eyes heal. You will need to make follow-up appointments with Drs. Dello Russo about every two weeks for the first two months.