Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser eye surgery. PRK corrects refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is similar to LASIK as they both reshape your cornea to improve your eye’s focusing ability.
Although PRK is similar to LASIK, it predates it. There are also similarities and differences between the two procedures. There are several things you may not know about PRK. Keep reading to find out which they are and decide which is best for you.
Your eye doctor considers several factors to determine which laser eye surgery is best for you. They look at your cornea’s thickness, as well as determine its shape and whether it has scars. You may not be a good candidate for LASIK if you have thin corneas, but PRK could be of help. It is because PRK does not make the hinged flap on the cornea that LASIK does.
Unlike in LASIK, the surgeon gains access to your cornea by removing the epithelium using alcohol instead of cutting. It reshapes the cornea using a laser, like in LASIK, and leaves it to regrow another epithelial layer. Afterward, the surgeon bandages the treated eye so the epithelium can start regenerating.
PRK is ideal for you if you are at risk of eye trauma. The surgery does not make the hinged flap like in LASIK. Thus, there is no risk of dislocating the corneal flap and causing complications.
You may need to take time to let your eyes heal. It will also allow the epithelium to start regrowing. You may also take longer to heal than a LASIK patient. It means you may take more time off work or your favorite sport. However, this is less risky than having your corneal flap dislodge.
PRK removes the epithelial layer of the cornea and does not leave a flap to replace the treatment area. It means that you will have to give the epithelium time to regenerate. Hence, PRK takes longer to heal than other laser eye surgeries.
The average recovery time may be a few weeks, unlike for LASIK patients. The latter can get back to work the next day in some cases. The complete recovery also takes a few months.
Thus, you need to be patient and follow your doctor’s instructions. It will help prevent unnecessary complications that you need not go through.
Both laser eye surgeries reshape the cornea using the same laser technology. Therefore, they produce similar results and are both effective. They ensure the highest patient satisfaction of any elective eye surgery. You will not be dependent on contact lenses and glasses anymore.
The PRK surgery is that quick! The laser is usually on for roughly 20-30 seconds, after which the surgeon flushes the cornea using saline and eyedrops. They will also bandage your eyes to prevent eye rubbing and allow the epithelium to start regenerating.
For more information on PRK, contact Laser Vision Delaware at our Wilmington, Delaware office. Call (302) 656-2020 to schedule an appointment today.