Are You A Candidate for PRK Surgery?

PRK surgery has been around since 1987, and for patients who aren’t LASIK candidates, PRK can be an alternative solution. Let’s look at how to determine whether you’re a candidate for PRK surgery and where to go from there.

What is PRK?

Photorefractive keratectomy, better known as  PRK, is a type of refractive surgery designed to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This procedure  requires the use of safe surgical lasers to reshape the cornea. The results of PRK are comparable to LASIK, and patients can expect improved vision without contacts or glasses.

PRK Candidates: Determining if PRK Surgery is Right for You

PRK surgery is a great vision correction option for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK. Your eye doctor might recommend PRK if you:

  • Have a thin cornea and a candidate for LASIK surgery
  • Have a higher prescription for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Work in a field where a corneal flap is inadvisable
  • You participate in activities that could damage a corneal flap

There are several different factors to consider, so it’s important to fully understand your options as a potential candidate for PRK surgery and what qualifies someone as an eligible PRK candidate.

Why PRK Surgery Might Be Better for You

While both PRK surgery and LASIK surgery are laser surgeries designed to improve your vision, they’re different procedures. During LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea to allow your doctor to reshape your eye. During PRK, the top piece of the cornea is removed entirely instead. 

Some people don’t qualify for LASIK surgery. If you don’t qualify because your cornea is too thin to create an adequate corneal flap, PRK can be an excellent solution. Since the piece of your cornea is completely removed during PRK surgery, thinner corneas are less of a concern.

Your Job or Hobbies Could Make You Better Suited to PRK

Your employment or activities may also mean you’re not a candidate for LASIK, but PRK could be an option for you. Some industries put you at a greater risk of eye trauma and complications with a corneal flap. Consider PRK if you work in:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • The military
  • Any field with a higher risk of eye trauma

Participating in certain sports or hobbies may also put you at a higher risk of corneal flap damage, including:

  • Contact sports
  • Martial arts
  • High-intensity competitions

Why You Might Not Be a PRK Candidate

People with certain eye conditions might not be qualified PRK candidates. PRK surgery is not recommended for patients with the following eye conditions:

  • Keratoconus
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Scarring from an eye injury

Additionally, people with these health conditions are not eligible PRK candidates:

  • A family history of or predisposition to keloids
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Immunodeficiencies
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Taking steroids or other medications that impact your healing

You may qualify for PRK if your condition resolves. For example, if you are no longer nursing or have fully healed from a cataract surgery, you may be newly eligible for PRK. If you’re not a PRK candidate now, talk to your doctor about whether you may qualify for PRK later.

Schedule Your Free Consultation at Dello Russo Laser Vision to Discuss PRK Surgery

Ready to find out whether you’re a candidate for PRK surgery? Contact Dello Russo Laser Vision today for your free consultation. Our surgeons can determine whether you’re a good fit for PRK, and answer questions about preparing for surgery, PRK recovery, and the PRK costs.