What is it?
Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK surgery is a refractive surgery that is used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. It is a predecessor for the popular LASIK procedure and like LASIK it is done using the laser to reshape the cornea. PRK is done only on the surface of the cornea but not the tissue underneath, which is usually the case with LASIK. LASIK is performed by first creating a thin flap on the outer layer of the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser.
This flap is then lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue and once the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser, the flap is replaced.
PRK surgery is popular due to its high accuracy, especially for nearsightedness. This surgery typically results in a vision of 20/20 or at least 20/40 for the naked eye. PRK surgery might even reduce the patient’s requirement for eyeglasses or contact lenses to see and in some cases, completely stop using it.
A cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light (excimer laser) is used for PRK surgery to reshape the cornea allowing light to be properly focused on to the retina for a clear vision. The outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed before using the excimer laser. The epithelium then grows back after the surgery.
LASEK is another variation of PRK but not used widely due to its slower recovery of vision as for LASEK the epithelial layer is lifted replaced during surgery, which should take a longer time to recover than in PRK where a new epithelial layer is formed.
Why PRK Surgery?
PRK surgery has some advantages over other laser surgeries and it will be prescribed depending on the condition of the patient’s eyes. It is preferred for medical conditions, like, dry eyes or thin corneas, unlike LASIK where it is not recommended for these conditions as LASIK might pose a problem after surgery.
PRK is very much recommended over LASIK for people with active lifestyle or job where the chances of dislodging a corneal flap after LASIK surgery can cause problems, whereas PRK does not involve cutting a flap like in LASIK.
Conditions for PRK surgery
The doctor will opt for a PRK surgery if the patient satisfies the following conditions:
It is recommended to learn about the procedure and have a proper expectation about the treatment.
The doctors will not recommend PRK surgery for patients with the following conditions:
Risks or complications of PRK surgery
Some of the risks involved are:
In general, PRK surgery is a good option if the patient meets all the conditions or requirements. The patient can then decide on the treatment if he/she is not comfortable using eyeglasses or contact lens, after consulting an ophthalmologist or after proper guidance.
I was wearing glasses for the last 28 years and my power was -5.0. When I went for a regular eye checkup to Dr. Sohan Raj, AMRIT Hospital
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I got bladeless lasik done on my eyes as it was the most advanced and safest treatment available. Now I'm enjoying all that I missed for so many years