Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), isn’t just a type of laser eye surgery that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism—it is the precursor to other laser eye procedures like LASIK. Today, PRK continues to evolve to offer safer, more predictable, and more optimal results for patients wanting to reduce their dependence on contacts and prescription lenses. Wondering if PRK is actually the laser eye surgery for you? Take a look at some of the benefits of PRK.
First off, What Is PRK?
PRK is a type of laser eye surgery that, much like LASIK, uses laser energy to correct patients’ vision, and much like LASIK, it does so by reshaping the patient’s cornea. Procedures like LASIK use a blade or laser to create a flap in the cornea, but PRK works by eliminating a portion of the outer layer entirely with a laser and then reshaping the cornea. Once the procedure is done, the eye is bandaged and the outer layer is allowed to heal and regenerate.
There are quite a few circumstances where PRK is preferable than other procedures like LASIK:
While PRK does ablate the outer layer of the cornea, it actually preserves the remaining layers of the cornea. That makes PRK better for patients with naturally thin corneas—a characteristic that disqualifies patients from LASIK.
Previous LASIK Procedure
Again, because PRK preserves the thickness of the cornea, the procedure is ideal if the patient needs to have their laser eye surgery redone. Some patients don’t get the results they want with LASIK, but the residual cornea left after surgery is often left quite thin. In that case, PRK can safely redo the procedure.
Comparable to LASIK
Even though it inspired LASIK technology, PRK’s results are actually comparable to LASIK. Around 90% of patients who underwent PRK have 20/20 vision, while over 95% have 20/40 vision or better without glasses or contacts.
Less Corneal Complications
Because PRK doesn’t create a flap, there’s no chance that the patient will develop flap-related complications or create a cornea that’s too thin by mistake.
Extremely Nearsighted Patients & Presbyopia
Certain ophthalmologists feel that PRK is optimal for patients that are extremely nearsighted. Here’s why: because drastic myopia could result in certain parts of the cornea being somewhat thin, it might be safer for patients to stick to a procedure that preserves as much of the corneal thickness as possible.
In the end, the best way to find out of PRK is the right refractive procedure is to schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. If you want to find a practice with the most trusted, experienced physicians in the community, contact Uptown Eye Specialists now, for a consultation.