Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
What is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy is often referred to as PRK. This type of vision corrective procedure was the first of its kind, invented even before laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis, also referred to as LASIK. Although LASIK is performed most often, PRK offers many advantages over a LASIK procedure for many individuals.
The Benefits of PRK
Although many patients choose LASIK over PRK, PRK does come with benefits that are not available through a LASIK procedure. Below is a list of benefits a PRK procedure can offer:
- This procedure does not go as deep as a LASIK treatment
- This procedure is optimal for patients with thin corneas
- The procedure has fewer risks since there are no corneal flap risk complications
- This procedure has a lesser risk of compromised corneal thickness
Candidates For PRK Surgery
This procedure is designed to help patients suffering from vision problems by correcting the following:
- Myopia (Nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Most often, an ophthalmologist will recommend a patient to take advantage of a PRK procedure if they have thin corneas.
The PRK Procedure
PRK is similar to a LASIK procedure. During LASIK, an eye surgeon will make a flap in your cornea using a device called WaveLight FS200. However, during a PRK procedure, the eye surgeon will gently remove the outer epithelial layer before the laser treatment. This process will reshape the cornea by allowing the laser to enter and focus on the retina of the eye. Following the PRK procedure, the epithelial layer of the cornea will regenerate. In most cases, patients will receive a prescription for additional drops and medications, which are designed to help them heal and remain comfortable during recovery.
Recovery From PRK Procedure
After the PRK procedure is completed, patients are instructed to rest before returning home. Patients may be required to wear eyeglasses after the procedure until their vision has stabilized. Eye drops will be prescribed by the surgeon to prevent infection and keep the eyes moistened.
While vision may improve immediately after the PRK procedure, the full results may take several days or weeks to become apparent. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise for at least a week because this can interfere with the healing process. Patients will likely be able to drive a car after 2 to 3 weeks.
PRK results are considered to be comparable to those of LASIK. Some patients may experience only 20/40 vision and may still need contact lenses or glasses after their procedure. PRK will not correct presbyopia, a natural change in the eyes that affects patients over the age of 40. Patients who require reading glasses will continue to need them after surgery. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations of the results of any laser surgery if they are going to be satisfied with the results.
Risks Of PRK
As with any type of surgery, there are risks associated with the PRK procedure, including:
- Hazy vision
- Dry eyes
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Inaccurate vision correction
- Sensitivity to light
- Problems with night vision, such as halos
- Postsurgical infection
Many of the complications that may arise after PRK are similar to those that may occur after any type of refractive surgery.
Schedule a consultation
Have questions? Please feel free to contact Key-Whitman Eye Center at (214) 220-3937 to request a free evaluation with our Dallas, Plano or North Arlington doctors. We are passionate about helping you see the world clearer than ever! Schedule your free evaluation online.
LASIK consultations are offered at our North Arlington, Plano, and Dallas locations.