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PRK Step By Step

PRK Step By Step

Orange County and Irvine PRK Laser Eye Surgery Step By Step

Preoperative Evaluation - LASIK and/or PRK Screening

When your laser vision correction consultation is made with our laser eye surgeon, we will determine which procedure is best for you. Before the operation, it is important to determine if you are a good LASIK or PRK candidate. At the Orange County PRK and LASIK Center we will do comprehensive testing to determine if LASIK or PRK may benefit you. We pride ourselves in turning down patients that are not good candidates in Orange County, Newport Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach, and surrounding areas. It is our responsibility that your questions are answered and that you are informed about your LASIK or PRK eye procedure.

Your Pre-Operative Refractive Surgery and PRK Examination and Free Consultation Day

Your Orange County LASIK, PRK, or laser eye surgery appointment will be specially made so that you have all the time you need to talk to Dr. Pham and have all of your concerns and questions answered. Please visit us for this FREE PRK and LASIK evaluation at our office centrally located in Irvine.

  • Your refractive eye doctor will personally meet with you.
  • The doctor will individually determine your vision requirements and your reasons for getting either PRK or LASIK Surgery.
  • If you have occupational concerns with LASIK and if you are a professional boxer please let our laser eye surgeon know this. 
  • Your vision will be checked with and without your glasses and contact lenses.
  • Your laser eye surgeon will do an ocular examination of your eyes.
  • We will do advanced imaging of your eyes called corneal topography to screen for any corneal disease. We use an advanced corneal topographer called a pentacam.
  • Our Orange County PRK and LASIK Surgeon will also provide advanced testing of your eyes including your refraction (prescription). Your laser eye surgeon will test your levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism to see if you are a good Orange County PRK or LASIK eye surgery candidate.
  • Your team will also check the pachymetry or thickness of your cornea.
  • Our laser eye doctor will screen your eyes for any ocular disease and also review your medical history to see if there are any contraindications to surgery.
  • Your laser eye center doctor will then inform you whether you are an all LASER iLASIK candidate, PRK candidate, LASEK candidate, Intraocular lens candidate, or if it is recommended that you continue wearing glasses or contact lenses.
  • We want all of your questions and concerns to be answered so there will be extra time made in this consultation to answer your PRK or LASIK eye surgery questions.
  • After your laser vision consultation, you will meet with one of our LASIK coordinators to answer any scheduling or financing questions that you may have.
  • Dr. Pham likes to triple check your PRK or LASIK surgery measurements before your Irvine or Newport Beach based PRK or LASIK operation. You can have your second check the day of the initial consultation or schedule it another day. During your second check/consultation, your eyes will be dilated as well. Dr. Pham then repeats all of your measurements again the day of surgery.

Your PRK Surgery Day at the Orange County Laser Eye Center - Finally!

For patients who have custom PRK surgery, the surgery may be the easiest part! Often, the recovery for custom PRK is the hardest part. It is understandable that you may be a little nervous, anxious, or even excited the day of your custom PRK surgery with the Orange County LASIK Institute. Our team and staff will do everything in our power to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

We will walk you through every step of your custom PRK eye procedure. The main difference between LASIK and PRK is in the first step of the procedure. Rather than making a flap as in LASIK, your corneal epithelium is gently removed by your PRK surgeon. Next, a cool excimer laser is used to reshape the surface of your cornea. Mitomycin-C is then used to prevent scarring. A bandage contact lens is placed on your eyes to help with your healing.

Day of the PRK Surgery:

  • Your preoperative measurements including your Custom PRK wavescan, your topography, and your refraction will be all checked again for the third time.
  • Dr. Pham will answer every question that you or your family members may have.
  • You will be given a Xanax tablet to help you to relax and relieve any normal anxiety.
  • Your eyes will be prepped and draped in sterile ophthalmic fashion before your Orange County PRK eye surgery.
  • You will be laying flat for your PRK surgery in Orange County. Numbing drops will be placed onto your eye.
  • An Amoils brush will be used to remove your corneal epithelium. The Amoils brush is a specially designed instrument that quickly and effectively removes your cornea's epithelium. It takes Dr. Pham approximately 20 seconds to remove the epithelium.
  • Next, you will be asked to look at a blinking red fixation light. Do your best to look at this light.
  • The VISX Star S4 with CustomVue technology will then be used. The laser is a cold laser and should not be painful. The typical laser treatment time ranges from 10 to 50 seconds.
  • Mitomycin-C will be placed on your eye to prevent scarring.
  • The Mitomycin-C will be irrigated away.
  • A bandage contact lens will be placed on your eye.
  • Topical drops of antibiotic and steroid will be given to you.

Your Care after your PRK surgery

  • The hardest part of custom PRK is the recovery. The first step of the recovery is the healing of the corneal epithelium.
  • Immediately after your PRK, your vision may be quite clear. As the corneal epithelium heals, your vision may get worse. This is because the corneal epithelium heals from the periphery into the center of your cornea. As the epithelium covers the center of your eye, your vision may be blurry.
  • After the third for fourth day, Dr. Pham will remove you bandage contact lens. Once this is removed, most if not all the discomfort and irritation of the recovery process should be done!
  • The second phase of your PRK surgery involves the vision recovery. Over the next few weeks, you should notice your vision gradually improving.
  • In the end, the vision obtained after PRK can be excellent but you will need some time to recover.
  • Dr. Pham will instruct you on how to use your medications to help the healing process.
  • It is ok to start showering the day after PRK surgery with the Orange County Eye and LASIK Center.. Dr. Pham and the Orange County Eye Care, Cataract, and LASIK center recommend that you do not partake in strenuous activity for the first five to seven days after PRK Surgery.
  • It is recommended that you wait two weeks before swimming in the ocean or a swimming pool.
  • You can wear non eye related make up starting the day after your PRK surgery. For eye makeup, your PRK surgeon recommends that you wait five days. 
  • Your follow-up examinations after PRK are one day, one week, two weeks, one month, three months, six months, and one year after your PRK surgery at the Orange County Eye Care, Cataract, and LASIK center. Your PRK related follow-up is completely free.

Step 4: PRK Financing


The Orange County LASIK and PRK Eye Center

The Orange County LASIK Institute
3500 Barranca Parkway Suite 150
Irvine , CA 92606

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form.
3500 Barranca Parkway Suite 150, Irvine , CA 92606 |
949-450-2020 |
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2021 The Orange County LASIK Institute | Tony H. Pham, M.D.

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