An In-Depth Guide to PRK
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.
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.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) – Risks and Benefits
There are several benefits to PRK, including:
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 1000 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:
Dr. Cohen in the News & Media
Dr. Sapna Parikh reports on the very first case of an ICL in New York performed by Dr. Ilan Cohen.
ABC 7 News
The surgeon, Dr. Ilan Cohen talks about “the unique” features of Implantable Collamer® Lens surgery as compared with LASIK.
CBS 2 News
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.
What other Doctors say about Dr. Cohen
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.
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.
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.