WHAT IS PRK?
Our doctors are all too aware of the frustration incurred when a patient is ineligible for LASIK. Fortunately, The Eye Center of Southern Indiana offers several types of laser refractive correction options, including PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). PRK was the first, groundbreaking approach to laser vision surgery and has provided 20/20 vision or better to millions of individuals all over the world. Even with the invention of LASIK, eye surgeons still perform PRK procedures frequently, mainly for patients who don't have enough corneal tissue to receive LASIK. PRK provides outcomes equal to those of LASIK and other laser eye procedures. Reach out to our Bloomington, IN team for a comprehensive evaluation if you believe you could be eligible for PRK.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRK?
PRK is an excellent choice for patients who do not meet the criteria for LASIK. The Eye Center of Southern Indiana recognizes the many advantages associated with PRK:
- No need for a corneal flap: During LASIK, an eye surgeon creates a corneal flap. This is not necessary with PRK, making it ideal for people with thin corneas.
- Safe and effective correction: Patients who undergo PRK experience the same excellent results as with LASIK but without the risk of flap-related complications.
- Convenience: You can resume normal activities after PRK within a short period, and you will likely not need glasses or contact lenses moving forward.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR PRK?
PRK is mainly recommended for patients who want to improve their vision but are not ideal candidates for LASIK surgery or similar procedures. The Eye Center of Southern Indiana will need to perform a thorough examination of your eyes to determine your candidacy for this advanced treatment. Inform our team if you have any of the following conditions:
- Glaucoma, cataracts, or other degenerative eye conditions
- Previous eye injuries or surgeries
- Dry eye syndrome
- A prescription that has changed in the last 12 months
HOW DOES PRK WORK?
PRK is typically reserved for those who want to have laser refractive surgery but aren't eligible for LASIK or LASEK. It might also be a more practical treatment for individuals with particular ocular diseases or who have a higher chance of eye trauma due to working conditions. Like with other laser surgeries, a PRK procedure starts by numbing the eye with drops and fixing the lids in place. The main difference with PRK is that no corneal flap is necessary. Instead, the upper epithelial tissue of the eye is completely removed and discarded in order to reshape the cornea beneath. Following the procedure, patients need to wear a protective bandage contact lens to safeguard the eye while the epithelial tissue regenerates. The epithelium generally grows back in about two weeks, meaning the full recovery period takes longer than with other laser eye surgery methods.
After any laser refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, we require our patients to return to The Eye Center of Southern Indiana for frequent follow-ups. These appointments are key so that we can keep track of a patient's recovery process, look for any unusual reactions, and help lessen any possible discomfort. The good news is that when the eyes are thoroughly recovered, the vision improvements will be as good as or even exceed those of LASIK. Many patients are able to get back to their jobs and driving within a week and attain their complete vision correction in about 1 – 3 months.
Is PRK permanent?
PRK surgery does produce long-term results that last for years but isn't considered permanent. This is because natural aging may change the shape of your cornea over time, changing your prescription. Our team in Bloomington, IN, always recommends attending yearly eye exams so we can monitor your vision and make suggestions as needed.
Is PRK painful?
The Eye Center of Southern Indiana uses advanced tools and technologies — so patients feel as little discomfort as possible. Your eyes will be numbed prior to treatment, and though you may feel some slight pressure, this shouldn't cause any distress. If you are anxious about getting PRK, let us know so we can recommend medication to calm you down if needed.
Is PRK risky?
There are certain risks to any surgery, but PRK is regarded as very safe with minimal complications. Our professionals will review all potential side effects during your consultation, as well as any precautions you need to take before treatment. You may have some mild discomfort or eye irritation after the procedure.
DEPENDABLE VISION CORRECTION
Since it was the original approach to laser vision correction, PRK has been allowing men and women to achieve their sharpest vision for nearly 25 years. At The Eye Center of Southern Indiana, our skilled team has happily delivered great eyesight to countless Bloomington, IN patients, and PRK has been an excellent alternative to LASIK for many of them. Visit us to arrange a consultation to determine if PRK is the ideal choice for you.