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PRK Aftercare and Post-operative Guidelines

The success of your photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) procedure is partly determined by good post-operative care. Because we remove several layers of tissue from your cornea during the surgery, full recovery may take a few weeks. You should, however, be able to resume most normal activities within a week of your surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed PRK aftercare instructions after you visit our Toronto, ON-area practice. You will need to follow this direction in the days and weeks following your surgery to further minimize your already low risk of complications. Adhering to these instructions will ensure that your recovery goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

After Surgery Basics
   Keep your eyes free from dust, dirt, and smoke
   Wait two weeks before wearing eye makeup
   Avoid activities that will result in excessive perspiration
   Do not get soap in your eyes
   Keep your eyes out of the direct stream of the shower
   Avoid swimming for at least three weeks
   Wear dark sunglasses when in sunlight or bright indoor light

Immediately After the Procedure

When the doctor completes the surgery, he or she will fit you for special contact lenses. These lenses act as bandages and should remain in your eyes at all times, until the doctor removes them at your one-week follow-up appointment. You will receive three or four different eye drops, including steroid drops, antibiotic drops, anti-inflammatory drops, and artificial tears for lubrication. The doctor will describe long each type should be used, but you will need to apply each four times a day for the first few days. When applying the drops, wait five minutes between each to avoid one drop washing the other out of the eye. Be careful not to blink out the contact lens, and avoid rubbing your eyes. Keeping your drops in the refrigerator will help soothe your eyes when they are applied. The doctor may also prescribe painkillers to use for the first few days.

Adhering to post-operative instructions after PRK will ensure that your recovery goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

The doctor may recommend a mandatory nap when you get home, to allow the eyes to rest. You will be given protective goggles to wear while sleeping, and should continue using them for the first week. You will be asked to refrain from reading, watching television, using your computer, and texting excessively for the first 24 hours. You may resume these activities the following day, as long as you keep your eyes well lubricated. You will also need to avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours following surgery.

The Weeks Following Surgery

While you may experience a dramatic improvement in your vision immediately following your procedure, you should expect your vision to fluctuate for the first three months or so, and sometimes it may seem blurrier than before your surgery. Keeping your eyes moisturized with artificial tears will help with the fluctuation. The doctor will advise you when you are cleared for driving, and most other normal activities can be resumed after the first week. At this time, you will return for a follow-up visit and the doctor will remove the contact lenses.

For the week following your surgery, you will need to keep your eyes free from dust, dirt, and smoke. Wait two weeks before wearing eye makeup, and use only very gentle rubbing to remove it. Avoid activities that will result in excessive perspiration, including heavy exercise, hot tubs, and saunas. Do not get soap in your eyes. The doctor will recommend bathing only for the first day or two, then you can resume showering. Keep your eyes out of the direct stream of the shower, and keep your eyes closed when washing your face and hair. You should avoid swimming for at least three weeks, and wear dark sunglasses when in sunlight or bright indoor light to reduce sensitivity. If you travel on an airplane, apply lubricating drops every 30 minutes or so to combat the effects of very dry air inside the aircraft.

Contact Us Today

Properly preparing for your PRK procedure is an important part of ensuring its success. If you would like to learn more about PRK surgery or aftercare, contact our practice today and schedule a consultation.

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