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Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

laser eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea

The number of different vision correction procedures can be overwhelming. While you may have heard of LASIK, you might not have come across the term Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK).

This article will give you a better understanding of PRK, whether it could be a solution for you, and how it compares to LASIK.

What Do I Need to Know About Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

PRK is a type of laser eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves removing the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, and then using a laser to reshape the cornea. The outer layer typically fully regenerates in about 4-7 days.

During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the epithelium (a thin layer of tissue that covers the external surface of your cornea) from the cornea using a brush or sometimes a laser beam. In certain situations a diluted alcohol solution may also be used.

The laser will then be used to reshape the corneal surface, following a custom map created by your eye doctor and based on your individual prescription. This procedure will correct your vision according to your personal prescription.

Once the laser reshaping is complete, the epithelium will heal and re-grow over the next several days.

The procedure has been successfully used since the late 1980s and has evolved over the years to become a safe and effective alternative to LASIK.

Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap, making it a good option for patients with thin corneas or other corneal conditions that would make them poor candidates for LASIK.

Contoura PRK Lasik

What Happens during Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

The PRK procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Before the procedure, your eye surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to numb your eye. You will also be given a mild sedative to help you relax.

Once your eye surgeon has removed the epithelium, a laser is used to reshape the corneal tissue according to your prescription. A contact lens will then be placed over your eye to protect your corneal and help the eye to heal and re-grow the epithelium.

You will receive instructions about the healing process and what you should do to allow your eye to heal optimally.

Dr. Ilan Cohen Has Performed Over 80,000 Vision Correction Procedures.

Dr. Cohen is a fellowship-trained cornea specialist and has devoted his career to fine-tuning and perfecting surgical techniques that can change your vision and your life. This is perhaps the reason that more than 1,000 physicians have chosen him for the correction of their own vision.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) – Risks and Benefits

There are several benefits to PRK, including:

No corneal flap and flap-related complications: Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap (making a small circular incision that allows to separate and lift the cornea for treatment). This can reduce the risk of complications such as flap displacement, irregular flaps or infection.

Safe for thin corneas: PRK is a good option for patients with thin corneas or other corneal conditions that would make them poor candidates for LASIK.

Quick healing time: Most patients experience significant improvement in their vision within the first few days after the procedure, with full recovery taking about a few weeks.

Good for high prescriptions: PRK has been shown to be effective for patients with high prescriptions, including those with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

An experienced eye surgeon like Dr. Cohen can reduce risks to a minimum.

In over 25 years, Dr. Cohen has successfully performed PRK on thousands of patients with excellent results.

This experience gives Dr. Cohen the ability to plan and execute the surgery with great precision, achieving the best outcomes.

The fact that more than 1,000 doctors have entrusted their eyes to Dr. Cohen speaks for itself.

However, We Would Like to Make You Aware of Certain Risks That Can Occur on Rare Occasions:

Risk of infection: Photorefractive keratectomy is a surgical procedure, and as with all surgery, there is a risk of infection.

Glare and halos: These can be caused by haze in the cornea which may take several weeks to heal.

Dry eyes: Some patients can experience dry eyes for a period of time.

What other Doctors Say about Dr. Cohen

Comparing PRK to LASIK

While both PRK and LASIK are effective options for correcting vision problems, there are some key differences between the two procedures:

Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap. This makes PRK a good option for patients with thin corneas or other corneal conditions that would make them poor candidates for LASIK.

LASIK tends to have a faster visual recovery time and a lower risk of corneal haze. LASIK is also a better option for some patients as it does not require a lengthy healing period and does not cause the same level of post operative discomfort as PRK.

During our extensive screening examination, we will advise you on the most suitable procedure for you and your personal situation.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) - Post-Operative Care

Post-operative care after Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is an important aspect of ensuring a successful outcome. It is essential for patients to follow the instructions provided by their eye surgeon to minimize the risk of complications and to maximize the benefits of the procedure.

The first step in post-operative care is to rest the eyes and avoid any strenuous activities that can put stress on the eyes. This typically includes avoiding physical activities such as heavy lifting and sports for several days after the procedure.

Additionally, patients should avoid rubbing their eyes and should use artificial tears as directed by their surgeon to keep the eyes hydrated. In some cases, the surgeon may prescribe a mild pain reliever, a steroid or antibiotic drops to reduce discomfort and prevent infection.

It is important for patients to attend all follow-up appointments with their surgeon, as the surgeon will monitor the healing process and make any necessary adjustments.

Photorefractive Keratectomy

In the days and weeks following the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort, including light sensitivity, glare, and blurred vision, which is normal and should gradually improve over time. With proper post-operative care and monitoring, patients can expect to achieve the benefits of PRK, including improved vision and freedom from glasses or contacts.

Patients Testimonials

In Conclusion…

Both PRK and LASIK are effective options for correcting vision problems, and the best choice will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. If you’re considering refractive surgery, speak with our team at the Cohen Eye Institute about the options that are available to you.

Together, we will decide which solution is best for you.

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Refractive Surgery Quiz

At Cohen eye Institute we offer a wide menu of Refractive Surgery. From Lasik to EVO- ICL. This quiz will help us help you tailor your vision to your lifestyle needs.