Laser Eye Surgery, PRK, LASIK

The PRK Procedure - What to Expect

Many people are surprised at how little time the actual procedure takes and how little discomfort is experienced. Of course, this varies from person to person and is effected by the technology used and the technique of the performing surgeon or doctor. Still, most patients are amazed at how little time it takes to make such a big difference. And with PRK, there is little or no pain, no needles, no scalpels and no blood. It is done as an "outpatient" procedure, which means you go home directly afterward.

1) You will be awake and aware through the entire procedure. In order to make you comfortable and the procedure pain-free, anesthetic drops will be placed in the eye you are having treated. These are repeated a few times over the period of one half hour to make sure your eye is "frozen."
2) When it has been determined that your eye is indeed "frozen" you will then go into the procedure room and sit in a chair that is very similar to the chair you sit in when you visit the dentist. Once you're comfortable, the chair is reclined and the procedure can begin.
3) An instrument called a speculum is gently placed on your eye to ensure that your eye stays open while the doctor does his work. There is no discomfort „ the drops placed in your eye prior to the procedure will do their job until well after the procedure is completed.
4) The technology used in the facility you choose will determine what happens next. With some machines, the doctor will then place a suction ring on your eye that will hold it steady for the entire procedure, removing this responsibility from you (and your nerves!). If other technologies are used, various methods of keeping your eye still will be employed (none of them are painful) and you will be asked to stare straight up at a light in the laser machine. Some machines actually track and follow the pupil.
5) The doctor will then perform the correction he or she has determined to give you the desired vision. Rarely does this require more than two or three minutes, regardless of the technology used. During the procedure, the machines will make a "clicking" or "snapping" noise. This is the noise of the laser in action. Also because the laser is actually "burning" or "vaporizing" tissue, you will notice a smell, somewhat like that of burning hair.
6) If a "bandage" is required, and this is again determined by the technique used by the doctor, a thin contact lens is then placed over the eye to serve as the bandage.
7) That's it! You are ready to go home and begin your Post Op care of your treated eye. You are soundly urged to follow your doctor's Post Operative directions exactly! Many people feel fine, admittedly are not sick and decide to create their own Post Op Regime (or lack of). This attitude can easily be describe in one word - foolish. Be wise and take the directions of your doctor seriously and follow them diligently.
For detailed information with actual photos of the LASIK procedure, please visit our sister web site

For more information contact:
Dr. Murray McFadden
(BSc, MD, FRCS(C), Diplomate of the American
Board of Ophthalmology)

© Copyright 1996-2005 Murray McFadden MD, Inc.

Telephone: (604) 530-3332
Fax: (604) 535-6258
SnailMail: 20434 64th Avenue, Unit #201,
Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1N4

This page last updated on September 18, 2000.
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