What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK Surgery)?

What is Photorefractive Keratectomy

What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK Surgery)?

What is Photorefractive Keratectomy

In the realm of refractive eye surgeries, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) has gained prominence as an effective solution for correcting vision problems. Whether you’re tired of dealing with glasses or frustrated by the limitations of contact lenses, PRK offers a way to achieve clearer vision. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of PRK, explaining its procedure, benefits, considerations, and potential outcomes. 

Photorefractive Keratectomy, often referred to as PRK, is a type of laser eye surgery designed to correct common refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Like other refractive surgeries, Photorefractive Keratectomy procedure aims to reshape the cornea—the transparent front part of the eye—to improve the way light rays enter the eye and focus on the retina.

Gaining deeper insight on PRK refractive surgery

How PRK Laser Eye Surgery Is Done: Understand Step-by-Step Process

Below are the step-by-step process of how PRK surgery is done, let’s understand it:

  • Initial Evaluation: Before undergoing Photorefractive Keratectomy surgery, you will have a comprehensive eye examination to determine your candidacy for the procedure. This evaluation assesses factors such as your eye health, different types of refractive error, and corneal thickness.
  • Numbing Eye Drops: On the day of the Photorefractive Keratectomy surgery, your eye surgeon will administer anesthetic eye drops to numb the surface of the eye. This ensures that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • Corneal Epithelium Removal: In PRK surgery, the thin outer layer of the cornea, known as the corneal epithelium, is gently removed. This step allows the laser to reshape the cornea accurately.
  • Laser Reshaping: A specialized excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea by removing required amount of tissues. The laser precisely sculpts the cornea to correct your specific refractive error.
  • Healing Process: Unlike other laser eye surgeries, such as LASIK Surgery, PRK treatment does not involve creating a corneal flap. Instead, the corneal epithelium naturally regenerates over time. During the initial healing phase, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to protect the healing surface.
  • Recovery and Follow-up: The recovery process after PRK refractive surgery may take a few days to a few weeks. Your eye surgeon will provide post-operative instructions, including the use of prescribed eye drops and precautions to ensure proper healing. Regular follow-up appointments will also be scheduled to monitor your progress.

Key Benefits of Photorefractive Keratectomy

Below are the key benefits of Photorefractive Keratectomy

  • Wide Applicability: Photorefractive Keratectomy is a suitable option for individuals with thin corneas or those who are not eligible for LASIK due to certain corneal conditions.
  • Stable Results: Once the healing process is complete, the results of PRK are generally stable and long-lasting, providing clear vision for years to come.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Since Photorefractive Keratectomy does not involve creating a corneal flap, there is no risk of flap-related complications that can occur with LASIK.
  • Less Discomfort for Some: While the initial healing period may involve discomfort, some patients find the overall recovery experience after PRK to be more comfortable compared to LASIK.

Who Should Get PRK?

PRK is typically performed on candidates with myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. The photorefractive keratectomy procedure can be performed on one eye or both eyes, depending on your needs.

Some general guidelines for candidacy include the following:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are not pregnant or nursing
  • You have a stable eye prescription for at least one year
  • You have been free from eye injuries and infections for at least one year
  • You do not have dry eye syndrome
  • You do not have issues with keratoconus

How Long Does PRK Take?
PRK is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. However, you may be at the centre for two to three hours, as the entire process includes pre-procedural testing and post-procedural care.

What Happens During PRK?
Before the procedure begins, your eye surgeon will numb your eyes with topical anaesthetic drops. Once your eyes are numb, a lid speculum is placed, which holds your eye in place and prevents you from blinking.

In PRK, the epithelium is removed before the laser treatment begins. This means that there is no need to create a flap. Instead, the expert will either use laser or mechanically remove epithelium from the surface of your cornea. The excimer laser then reshapes the cornea to remove the refractive power (spectacle number).

After the laser treatment is complete, a contact lens is placed over your eye to help the epithelium heal. The entire process takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Major Outcomes After Photorefractive Keratectomy

Considerations and Potential Outcomes of Photorefractive Keratectomy Surgery

  • Temporary Discomfort: The initial healing phase after PRK eye surgery can involve temporary discomfort, including sensitivity to light, tearing, and mild eye irritation. These symptoms typically subside as the eye heals.
  • Visual Recovery: It may take several days to a few weeks for your vision to stabilize after PRK. During this time, you may experience fluctuations in your vision.
  • Enhancement: In some cases, a follow-up enhancement procedure may be necessary to fine-tune the results and achieve the desired level of vision correction. There is also a rare possibility of regression of refractive power or development of haze in high refractive power.
  • Candidacy: PRK candidacy depends on various factors, including the severity of your refractive error, corneal thickness, and overall eye health. A thorough consultation with an experienced eye surgeon will help determine if Photorefractive Keratectomy is the right choice for you.


Why Choose Planet LASIK for PRK?

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) has emerged as a successful and widely practiced laser eye surgery for correcting common vision problems. By reshaping the cornea, PRK offers a way to achieve clearer, unaided vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. While the recovery process may involve temporary discomfort, the long-term benefits of improved vision and reduced reliance on corrective eyewear make PRK laser eye surgery a compelling option.

If you’re considering PRK, it’s essential to consult with a qualified eye surgeon who can assess your individual needs and guide you through the decision-making process. Feel free to reach out to PLANET LASIK by Centre For Sight. With the potential to transform your vision and enhance your quality of life, we offer PRK as the solution you’ve been seeking to achieve the clear vision you deserve. Our experienced doctors leverage world-class technology to give you the best possible eye care. To book your appointment, log onto https://www.planetlasik.com/.

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