Also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy, PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and still remains relevant today as the preferred laser vision correction option for some patients
PRK requires treatment of less corneal tissue than other procedures so is ideal for eyes with thin corneas. As Ben performs transepithelial PRK, nothing touches the eye and so PRK is also preferred for those sensitive to touch around their eyes. PRK is the only laser technique suitable for reshaping irregular corneas.
PRK has a longer recovery time, is more uncomfortable, and requires careful post-surgical management as the surface layer of your cornea grows back and heals. During this time a contact lens will be inserted to protect the eye for the first four days.
The benefits of PRK include:
- PRK is a safe, proven and predicable technology for laser vision correction
- The cornea is treated without the creation of a flap
- The cornea is treated without any manual intervention from the surgeon
- Suitable for patients that have thin or irregular shaped cornea
- Is possible for patients that experience mild dry eye symptoms
- Visual outcomes are excellent
There are variations of PRK refractive surgery and depending on your visual issue and what is most suitable, Ben will advise on one of the below options.
Transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (tPRK), where both the epithelium and stroma are removed in a single-step. This is a relatively new procedure of laser refractive error correction. Standard PRK requires the manual removal of the front surface of the cornea prior to laser applation but with tPRK, a laser does all the work. This produces a more precise treatment zone and more comfortable recovery.
Topographically guided PRK
The most common indications for your surgeon recommending this procedure are keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and post-LASIK ectasia. Topography-guided PRK (TG-PRK) allows surgeons to reduce irregular astigmatism and improve the best corrected visual acuity. The procedure uses a customised excimer laser treatment guided by a topographic map. Every case must be considered individually to determine the risks and benefits of treatment.
The video below provides a visual demonstration of how PRK is undertaken and what you can expect during the procedure.
Would you like to discuss if PRK is an option for you?
Don’t hesitate to contact Dr LaHood.