The most common form of laser eye surgery, LASIK eye surgery, is not the
only eye surgery option to correct refractive errors causing vision problems.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is one
LASIK alternative. Also known as LASEK, PRK is commonly used to correct mild to moderate
refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.
Selecting the right vision correction option for you can be confusing,
turn to your eye doctor for recommendations on the option that is best
for you or schedule a consultation with the
Dallas PRK specialists at Key-Whitman.
PRK is the predecessor of LASIK eye surgery, which corrects vision by reshaping
the cornea to properly focus light on the retina by creating a small flap
in the cornea, then reshaping the eye. The entire PRK procedure takes
less than 30 minutes. During the PRK eye surgery procedure, the microscopically
thin outer layer of the cornea is removed; PRK does not require the creation
of a flap in the cornea. The laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue
by emitting a computer-controlled beam of light that removes the exact
amount of tissue in a matter of seconds.
Pros of PRK
PRK offers a few distinct benefits to patients. One great benefit of PRK
is that it gives another option to patients whose corneas are too thin
for LASIK, or who have undergone previous LASIK eye surgery. With PRK,
there is no risk of cornea flap complications, because a flap is not created.
PRK also offers a reduced risk of removing too much of the cornea during
surgery. PRK is highly accurate in correcting nearsightedness, with an
estimated 80 percent of patients experiencing 20/20 vision without glasses
or contact lenses one year after surgery.
Cons of PRK
There are also a few disadvantages to PRK over LASIK. Recovery time from
PRK is typically longer than with LASIK, as it will take a few days for
the new epithelial cells that were removed during surgery to regenerate
and cover the cornea. There is also a slightly increased risk of infection
with PRK, and patients may experience more eye discomfort during recovery
compared with LASIK surgery.
If you are considering laser eye surgery to correct your vision, contact the
Dallas eye surgeons at Key-Whitman to discuss the options and select the procedure that is best for you.