PRK Eye Surgery (Photorefractive Keratectomy), is an elective, outpatient laser vision correction procedure to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. In the PRK laser vision correction procedure, our surgeon utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the eye for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Photorefractive Keratectomy has been performed since 1986. Prior to LASIK, PRK was the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure. PRK differs from LASIK as no flap is created during the PRK procedure. PRK may be suitable for people with larger pupils, thin corneas, have other corneal issues or dry eyes.
What is Custom PRK?
Custom PRK is a procedure that enables your surgeon to further customize the conventional PRK procedure to your individual eyes. A machine called a wavefront analyzer measures the way light travels through your eye and compares it to an eye with perfect vision. This device then creates a 3-D wavefront map that is uniquely yours, in the same way that your “fingerprint” is unique to only you. This additional data is then used by your PRK surgeon to customize the PRK procedure to your requirements.
Custom and conventional PRK are actually the same procedure. While custom PRK allows your surgeon to achieve better results, conventional PRK is still a great choice for many patients. Your doctor will work with you to determine which procedure is best for you.
Some patients seeking refractive surgery may find out that they are not candidates for the popular LASIK surgery. Luckily, there are other options for those wanting better vision. While not everyone who qualifies for PRK qualifies for LASIK, those who are deemed candidates for LASIK are usually able to choose between PRK and LASIK.
PRK has some advantages over LASIK, especially for those who lead an active lifestyle and wish to eliminate the risk or corneal flap complications. Your eye doctor will work with you to figure out which surgery is most suitable to your eyes and your lifestyle.
Is PRK right for me?
Some symptoms exclude patients from LASIK, but they do not exclude patients from PRK surgery. If you have any of these conditions, PRK may be the right alternative:
• Thin, unstable cornea
• Irregular astigmatism
• Prior eye surgery
PRK vs. LASIK
PRK has it’s own pros and cons, as does LASIK. Here are some risks and benefits to weigh if you are deciding between LASIK and PRK surgery:
• PRK has less depth of laser treatment than LASIK
• LASIK has a faster, less uncomfortable recovery time
• PRK is suitable for those with thin corneas
• LASIK poses less risk for infection after surgery
• PRK does not have a risk of corneal flap complications
Are the results the same?
While PRK takes longer than LASIK to recover from, the end results are the same. Most people achieve 20/20 vision after PRK surgery, and nearly all patients achieve 20/40 visual acuity or better.
The PRK Procedure
During the PRK surgery, no scalpels are used and no incisions are made. Prior to the procedure, an extremely detailed map of your eye surface is created by a computer and then used by your PRK surgeon to calibrate the excimer laser to your exact prescription.
To accomplish the reshaping, the surgeon first removes the protective surface layer (epithelium) from the cornea. Your PRK surgeon will then smooth the area and apply computer controlled pulses of cool laser light to reshape the curvature of the eye. This process takes around 30 to 60 seconds, and a clear contact bandage is placed over the cornea to protect it. Contact our New York City or White Plains location today to schedule your consultation!