Photorefractive Keratectomy PRK Surgery

LASIK Guider

What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

Photorefractive Keratectomy is a type of laser eye surgery that is used to reduce dependence on or   by correcting vision in people with mild to moderate degrees of  or , or .

PRK was the first laser eye procedure developed in the late 1980s, approved by the FDA in 1995, and still in use today. Before was invented, thousands of individuals had PRK treatment.


Is PRK eye surgery right for you?

If you are considering PRK, it is important to to know that your medical history, , and other health factors are taken into consideration while determining your .

PRK is a good option for people who are not . If you have thinner corneas or irregular corneal surface, PRK may be a better option for you than LASIK since it causes less corneal tissue disruption.

Because no flap is created in PRK, it is often recommended for people who are at higher risk of eye injury, such as from sports or certain jobs (Pilots, athletes) , and anyone who engages in a lot of physical activity that may move the LASIK flap out of place.

It's necessary to understand that PRK laser surgery cannot correct presbyopia. This is the typical age-related decline of near vision. Almost everyone who has good distant vision will require reading glasses beyond the age of forty.

To be eligible for a PRK, you must meet certain requirements

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Your vision must be stable
  • Your vision prescription must be within certain limits
  • Your eyes must be healthy
  • Your cornea must have sufficient thickness
  • You must be in good health
  • You must have realistic expectations

Visiting your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to determine your specific visual needs and whether PRK is the best surgery for you.

How PRK laser surgery is performed?

PRK surgery only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. It is performed while you are awake, but you will not feel any pain. It does not require the use of injections or needles.

PRK is performed on both eyes during the same session as an outpatient procedure. Only topical anesthetic eye drops are used for numbing the surface of the eye during your PRK surgery. This will reduce the desire to blink and eliminate any sensation of pain or discomfort that may cause eye movement during the procedure.

PRK laser eye surgery, like other , works by reshaping your , the clear covering on the front of your eye, to allow light entering the eye to be correctly focused on the in the back of your eye.

Unlike LASIK, a PRK doesn’t involve cutting a flap in your cornea. There are two steps involved in PRK surgery:

  1. The cornea's outermost layer, known as the epithelium, is removed with an alcohol solution or specialised brush. This is done to make the corneal stroma underneath accessible to the excimer laser.
  1. Laser Ablation: Next, a tiny layer of corneal stroma tissue is removed using an excimer laser. The patient's refractive error determines how much tissue is removed.

In three to five days, the epithelium recovers on its own. In order to protect the cornea and to help it heal throughout this period, your surgeon will place a “bandage” contact lens over your eye.

You won’t be able or allowed to drive, so you’ll need someone to take you home.

PRK Surgery Recovery

It takes longer to recover from PRK than . After your PRK procedure you will experience some discomfort, such as pain, burning, light sensitivity and blurry vision. Postoperative pain is greater than that of LASIK. But the discomfort normally goes away in a few days.

In two weeks, the majority of patients can see clearly enough to drive and carry out daily tasks again. However, it takes up to three months, and sometimes longer, for your vision to stabilize. PRK may take longer to achieve its full effect than LASIK. This is because it takes time for the cornea to be reshaped by the growing epithelium.

To ensure successful and rapid PRKrecovery process, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by your eye surgeon and properly use any prescribed medications or eye drops as directed. You should to avoid rubbing and touching your eyes until the eyes are healed.

To guarantee a successful PRK surgery, it is advisable to visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will verify that you meet all the requirements and help you decide if PRK eye surgery is right for you.

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