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Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) involves the surface cells of the cornea are firstly mechanically brushed off and the laser energy is applied to the firm corneal tissue called the stroma.
This leaves behind a surface ‘scratch’ which caused pain for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. The procedure itself if absolutely painless. The surface defect takes up to 3 to 4 days to heal. After treatment, during the healing and settling down phase, vision may be worse than before the treatment, but rapidly improves over the next few days and weeks.
During the healing process some scar tissue can form. This can leave behind a thin haze on the cornea and can take some months to clear. In some instances, when the haze is excessive, it can cause symptoms of glare, star burst effect and slightly reduced vision. This technique has been largely superseded by LASEK.