What Is PRK (Photorefractive Keratecomy)
PRK is a type of refractive surgery that uses a surgical laser to reshape the cornea. PRK is ideal for treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia and astigmatism. It’s a great alternative to corrective lenses.
How Does PRK Differ from LASIK?
While PRK and LASIK are similar surgeries in principle, they differ in one important way. During LASIK, a flap is created on the the cornea which allows the cornea to be reshaped before it is set back down.
During PRK, on the other hand, the epithelium is removed to allow the laser to reshape the cornea. The epithelium (thin tissue covering the eye) will grow back as part of the healing process.
What Is the Recovery time?
During LASIK surgery, Dr. Blanton will create a corneal flap, which is folded back as the laser is applied to the deeper corneal layers. After the laser treatment, the flap is repositioned over the eye. In PRK, there is no flap. Instead, Dr. Blanton will remove the outer corneal surface completely to expose the deeper corneal layers where the laser is applied. The outermost layer will regrow after surgery. With PRK it takes the cornea longer to heal and patients may experience more discomfort and longer recovery with PRK compared to LASIK. Our PRK patients may also have more frequent follow-up visits with an eye doctor to ensure the eyes are healing after surgery.
Am I a Candidate for PRK?
Some general guidelines for candidacy include the following:
- At least 18 years old
- Are not pregnant or nursing
- Stable prescription for at least one year
- Free from eye injuries and infection
- Not suffering from dry eye syndrome
- Have overall healthy eyes and appropriate corneal thickness
- No issues with corneal disease or cataracts
- Are tired of glasses and contacts
How Do PRK Results Compare to LASIK?
Both LASIK and PRK have high rates of success. The recovery time is slightly longer for those undergoing PRK, but both result in clearer vision and less reliance on glasses on contacts.Book a Free Consultation