PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK, and “Soft Brush” Epi-LASEK are all procedures that use the excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. These differ from LASIK in that there is no need to create a corneal flap, avoiding potential flap complications.
Prior to LASIK, PRK surgery was the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure. It was the first FDA-approved procedure changing the curvature of the cornea with the excimer laser.
PRK surgery is best suited for patients who are not candidates for LASIK, including those with thinner corneas, irregularly shaped corneas, or with vocational or sports-related limitations where a corneal flap is contraindicated.
In PRK, the topmost layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed and allowed to grow back naturally over the course of 3-4 days. The surface of the cornea is reshaped using the excimer laser.
With LASEK and Epi-LASEK, the epithelium is moved aside and then replaced after surgery.
Custom PRK provides an additional level of data about your visual system using Wavefront technology.
The PRK laser vision correction process is completed in approximately five minutes. Upon completion, Dr. Bansal places a clear bandage contact lens on the cornea to protect it for approximately 3-5 days. Since a layer about as thin as a human hair is typically removed, the cornea should maintain its original strength.
LaserVue helps you determine if the high level of individualization from Custom PRK surgery is right for you.
Both PRK and LASIK have proven to be effective methods for laser vision correction. Each has its strengths, depending on the situation.
While the initial recovery is usually slower with PRK compared to LASIK, the final vision result is typically the same with either method.
After PRK surgery, the usual full recovery time is about 3 months, though patients heal at different rates.
Although it can take a few weeks to a few months for patients to fully reach their optimal vision, outcomes for PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK are similar.
Patients usually experience some discomfort and blurred vision during the first few days. Halos and glare may be present from this time. Additionally, patients are normally placed on a regimen of steroid eye drops for a two-to-four-month window following the procedure.
Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days.
Most patients report improved vision by the end of the first week.
Many patients report that most of their side effects have subsided.
Most patients report that halos and glares subside at this time.
There are medical conditions that may make surface ablation procedures like PRK more suitable than LASIK.
LaserVue will evaluate and determine which procedure is best for you. We will inform you of the benefits and risks of each procedure, and answer all of your questions regarding the procedures.
If you’re interested in PRK, give us a call at 1-800-LASER-45 (1-800-527-3745) to schedule a free consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for PRK, LASIK, or another refractive surgery treatment.