PRK Eye Surgery
You may have heard about PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, to give it its full name. PRK is a common laser-assisted eye surgery used to treat and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
You can think of PRK as the precursor to LASIK surgery. In fact, PRK has been around since 1987. The earlier surgery made LASIK possible. Although it’s a little older, PRK is still useful. It is frequently used on patients who, for one reason or another, are not LASIK candidates.
And, as the years have gone on, the technology used to implement PRK has advanced too. At Dello Russo Laser Vision, our dedicated and expert ophthalmologists will advise you as to which surgery is right for your eyes.
The key differences between LASIK and PRK
There are a few differences between PRK and LASIK. During the LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist uses a laser to create a thin flap on the cornea. This flap is then be lifted and your surgeon reshapes the eye to correct the refractive error. Refractive errors include myopia (nearsightedness) and hypermetropia (farsightedness).
With the photorefractive keratectomy procedure, this first step is a bit different. Rather than creating a flap, this top piece of the cornea is removed completely. This gives your doctor the same access to the eye.
Correspondingly, there are different healing times between LASIK and PRK. To learn more about the differences, and the similarities, please see our in-depth info here.
PRK is right for you if:
Your ophthalmic surgeon might recommend PRK for a number of reasons, these include:
- A thin cornea which is unsuited to a LASIK procedure
- Your age makes you a better PRK candidate
- Your prescription is for higher amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Ultimately, it is up to your eye surgeon if PRK is the right procedure for you. If you’d like to find out if PRK can give you the vision you’ve always wanted, please request a free consultation with one of our expert ophthalmologists.
Preparing for PRK
Photorefractive keratectomy takes around 30 minutes or less, depending on your prescription and the kind of refractive error the surgeon is correcting.
Just like LASIK, PRK is an out-patient procedure, meaning that you can go home straight away after the surgery. It’s very important that you organize a friend or family member to pick you up after the surgery as you will not have perfect vision straight away and will be unable to drive.
You should also avoid wearing any eye makeup on the day of your surgery. If your ophthalmologist has instructed you to use eye drops, you should use these for two days prior to the surgery.
PRK is not as painful as you might think
Many people worry about the PRK procedure including concerns that it will be painful and scary. For the most part though, patients find that they cope with the procedure well and experience no, or very little, discomfort during it.
Our ophthalmologists utilize anesthetic eye drops in each of your eyes prior to the surgery. This means that you won’t feel any pain.
Afterward, PRK patients should expect a bit more discomfort than LASIK patients. This is because, in photorefractive keratectomy, the deeper layers of your cornea are more affected.
However, people generally find this manageable. For most patients, any initial discomfort lasts less than two weeks. In fact, you should be able to go back to work within just two days after the surgery.
Recovering from PRK
Recovery from photorefractive keratectomy takes a longer time than with LASIK. This is because your cornea must regrow the cells that were removed.
The time it takes for full vision to stabilize changes on a patient to patient basis. For some, they may see perfectly after one month. For other patients, it can take up to six months. Most people find that within the three- to six-month period, their vision is stable and is full correction is achieved.
Dello Rosso Laser Vision offers comprehensive after care services. If you have follow up questions concerning your recent laser surgery, please get in touch with us to make an appointment.
PRK is a great way to achieve permanent vision correction
If you’ve been told that LASIK is not a suitable option for you, PRK may be. Photorefractive keratectomy offers a safe and comprehensive solution to refractive errors that may be holding you back in your day to day life.
If you’d like some full information on your vision options, including PRK, please make an appointment to come and see one of our friendly ophthalmologists. We’re located in four locations throughout the Northeast. We offer free initial consultations and would be more than happy to discuss your choices with you.