Photorefractive keratectomy Procedure

prk eye surgery procedure

Photorefractive keratectomy Procedure

prk eye surgery procedure

In the fascinating world of ophthalmology, technological leaps have given us more choices to live life free from the shackles of eyeglasses and contacts. One such reliable surgery is Photorefractive Keratectomy procedure, commonly known as PRK eye surgery. If you’ve been curious about this laser eye surgery wonder, you have arrived at the right place! In this comprehensive blog, we’re diving deep into PRK procedure—what it is, how it works, its advantages, PRK procedure cost and everything you need to know regarding it. So, let’s unravel the PRK procedure in detail!

What Is PRK?

Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK procedure, is a type of refractive eye surgery developed to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. It involves the reshaping of the cornea’s outer layer, the epithelium, without the creation of a corneal flap.

What Happens During the Photorefractive Keratectomy Procedure?

  • Initial Consultation:

Before undergoing PRK procedure, individuals typically undergo a list of PRK procedure steps to determine their eligibility for the procedure. Factors such as corneal thickness, overall eye health, and refractive error stability are checked in this stage.

  • Preoperative Evaluation:

Once found suitable for PRK, patients undergo through another PRK procedure steps, i.e., a thorough preoperative checkup as a part of including detailed mapping of the cornea using advanced diagnostic technologies, enabling the surgeon to customize the surgery to the patient’s unique eye anatomy.

  • Anesthetic Eye Drops:

On the day of the surgery, the patient’s eye is numbed with anesthetic eye drops to ensure comfort throughout the procedure.

  • Epithelial Removal:

The surgeon then gently removes the outer layer of the cornea, the epithelium, exposing the underlying corneal tissue for reshaping. This step is performed using either alcohol or a specialized brush.

  • Corneal Reshaping with Excimer Laser:

An excimer laser is used to precisely reshape the cornea as required. This step involves removing microscopic amounts of corneal tissue to correct refractive errors. The high precision of the excimer laser ensures minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

  • Postoperative Protection:

Following corneal reshaping, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to protect the cornea as it heals. This lens is usually worn for a few days until the epithelium regenerates.

All the PRK procedure steps hold their own importance in ensuring the success of the overall surgery, hence the patient needs to be very cautious throughout.

What Are the Advantages of a Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

  • No Flap-Related Complications:

Since PRK procedure does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, there is a lower risk of flap-related complications, such as flap dislocation or flap-related infections, making it a safer option for certain individuals.

  • Suitable for Thinner Corneas:

PRKprocedure is often recommended for individuals with thinner corneas who may not be suitable candidates for LASIK. The absence of a corneal flap allows for more conservative tissue removal.

  • Reduced Risk of Dry Eyes:

The risk of developing dry eyes is lower in PRK compared to LASIK, as the corneal nerves responsible for tear production are less disrupted during the procedure.

  • Less Risk of Flap-Related Trauma:

In certain professions or activities, there may be an increased risk of trauma to the eyes. PRK eliminates the risk of flap dislocation, making it a preferred option for individuals engaged in contact sports or defense services.

  • Wider Eligibility:

Photorefractive keratectomy procedure may be a suitable option for individuals with certain corneal irregularities or those who have been previously disqualified from LASIK. 

How to Prepare for PRK Procedure?

If you are considering photorefractive keratectomy procedure, here are general steps you might follow:

  • Consultation and Evaluation:

The journey towards photorefractive keratectomy procedure begins with a thorough consultation with an experienced eye surgeon. A comprehensive eye examination and evaluation of the patient’s medical history help determine their eligibility for the procedure.

  • Discontinuation of Contact Lenses:

Contact lens wearers are typically advised to discontinue lens use for a specified period before the surgery. Soft contact lenses should be discontinued from at least 2 days before the surgery, while for hard contact lenses, the time period is 3 weeks minimum. This allows the cornea to return to its natural shape, ensuring accurate preoperative measurements.

  • Medical History and Medication Review:

Patients are required to provide a detailed medical history, including any existing health conditions or medications they may be taking. Certain medications, such as those with blood-thinning properties, may need to be temporarily discontinued before the surgery.

  • Understanding the Procedure:

It is crucial for individuals undergoing PRK procedure to have a clear understanding of the surgery, including the potential risks and benefits. This understanding builds realistic expectations and alleviates any concerns or anxiety.

  • Arranging Transportation:

Since vision may be temporarily impaired immediately after PRK, arranging transportation for the way back home is essential. Most patients are advised not to drive until they receive clearance from the surgeon.

  • Postoperative Care Preparation:

Patients should prepare for the postoperative period, which may include temporary visual fluctuations and discomfort. Having a support system in place and following the prescribed postoperative care instructions are crucial for a smooth recovery.

Disadvantages of LASIK

Like PRK, another commonly performed and generally safe procedure for vision correction is LASIK. Though it is safe, it does have some potential disadvantages and risks, such as:

  • Dry Eyes:

LASIK can lead to temporary or permanent dry eyes in some patients. This occurs because the surgery may disrupt the normal production of tears.

  • Visual Disturbances:

Some patients may experience visual disturbances, such as glare, halos, double vision, or difficulty with night vision, particularly during the initial healing period.

  • Undercorrection or Overcorrection:

While LASIK aims to correct refractive errors, there is a possibility of undercorrection (not achieving the desired level of vision correction) or overcorrection (correcting too much).

  • Regression:

In some cases, the treated vision may gradually return to its antecedent state over time, a phenomenon known as regression.

  • Flap Complications:

LASIK involves creating a corneal flap that may lead to infections, dislodgement of the flap, or issues with flap adherence post surgery.

  • Corneal Haze:

Some patients may develop corneal haze, which can affect vision clarity. This is more common in individuals with higher degrees of nearsightedness.

  • Not Suitable for Everyone:

LASIK may not be suitable for individuals with certain eye conditions, such as thin corneas, large pupils, or significant dry eye problems.

It’s crucial to have a better understanding of these potential disadvantages and proper discussion with expert eye surgeons. They can provide a thorough assessment of your individual case, discuss the potential risks, and help you make an informed decision.

Also read about PRK vs Lasik.


In conclusion, the PRK procedure stands as a remarkable option for individuals seeking freedom from glasses or contact lenses. The thorough understanding of the procedure is crucial for anyone contemplating this life-changing decision. As advancements in technology continue to enhance the field of refractive surgery, photorefractive keratectomy procedure remains a reliable and effective choice for those ready to embark on a journey towards clearer, unaided vision.

PRK Procedure – FAQs

  1. How much does PRK surgery cost, and are there financing options available?

    Our dedicated team at Planet LASIK is here to provide you with a transparent view of the PRK eye surgery cost. On average, PRK eye surgery cost around INR 45,000. Visit us and know your eligibility and available financing options.

  2. Why is photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) performed?

    PRK is done to correct vision issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea with a laser, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contacts.

  3. Who can have a photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)?

    PRK procedure is suitable for individuals seeking vision correction with conditions like thin or irregular corneas, making them unsuitable for LASIK. Also, it’s the best vision correction option for individuals aspiring for defense services.

  4. Is PRK a permanent solution, or do I need additional procedures in the future?

    PRK is considered a permanent solution for vision correction. However, individual factors and age-related changes can influence long-term vision, and in some cases, enhancements or additional procedures may be needed later on.

  5. What should I expect after the photorefractive keratectomy procedure?

    After PRK, expect some discomfort, light sensitivity, and vision fluctuations during the initial days. It may take a few weeks for vision to stabilize, and following postoperative care instructions diligently is crucial for optimal healing.

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