Happen to have bad vision and hate wearing glasses and/or contacts? Well, one of these two procedures might be an excellent option for you. What exactly does PRK stand for? PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of refractive surgery that corrects nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
PRK laser surgery vs. LASIK?
During a PRK procedure, an excimer( ultraviolet) laser is used to reshape the cornea. Reshaping the cornea helps light to enter the eye properly onto the retina for sharpened vision. In the PRK procedure the cornea’s entire outer (epithelial) layer is removed and left exposed while in LASIK surgery, the doctor creates a flap on the cornea to access the treatment area and close the area back up for reduced exposure.
Before surgery: Doctor will take measurements of the patient’s pupils, check moisture/ dryness level of eyes, corneal curvature/ thickness and health/medical background.
During surgery: PRK surgery only takes about 15 minutes. Procedure is completed while the patient is awake with a mild oral sedative to help your muscles relax during the process. PRK is done one eye at a time during different visits.
After surgery: PRK recovery takes longer than LASIK surgery so the surgeon will prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and pain medications that will aid in the healing process and reduce swelling/ any discomfort.
Pros of PRK surgery: It works well for patients with a thin cornea, no corneal flap complications, and reduced risk of corneal thickness.
Cons of PRK surgery: Slower recovery than LASIK, vision takes longer to come back, more eye discomfort.
Long term results after PRK surgery.
The results from both the PRK and LASIK procedures are similar. Several people achieve 20/20 vision after surgery and a majority of the patients achieve 20/40 visual acuity. For some patients, PRK and LASIK might not give them perfect vision and glasses/contact usage may be necessary, but their vision will be lower than before.
For more information on PRK and LASIK, visit this page.