Prk Laser Eye Surgery Is Still Preferred by Some Surgeons
PRK, the original eye surgery first performed
in Germany in 1987, is still preferred by some surgeons today.
The PRK and LASIK vision results are comparable, but the procedures
are somewhat different. PRK, or Photorefractive keratectomy, is
a procedure that involves reshaping the cornea using an excimer
laser; this procedure is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness,
and astigmatism. No incisions in the cornea are used during the
PRK procedure, unlike during LASIK procedure.
If you are thinking about getting PRK eye surgery
you will need to qualify for the surgery first, and there are
a few questions that you should ask your doctor. PRK will only
be effective for persons who are within a certain range of nearsightedness,
farsightedness, or astigmatism; your eye doctor can perform an
examination to see if you qualify for this type of surgery. Additionally,
it is important to know that not all PRK excimer lasers are FDA
approved to correct farsightedness. You will need to ask your
potential surgeon if the laser being used is FDA approved to treat
your condition; the surgeon does not have to provide you with
this information unless you ask first.
PRK is considered to be an elective type of surgery,
and patients need to be aware of what to expect from the surgery
and the risks involved. While PRK and LASIK results are comparable,
PRK does take longer to recover from. The surgery itself takes
less than one minute for each eye. Numbing drops are applied to
the eye first. After the cornea is sculpted, the surgeon will
apply a bandage contact lens on each eye for comfort and protection;
anti- inflammatory and antibiotic drops are given to the patient
as well. Patient evaluations are conducted for approximately three
times during the first week, then once a month intervals. The
protective bandage contact lens is usually removed two to three
days after surgery. Depending on how much correction of the cornea
was needed, drops may be prescribed for 3-6 months after the procedure.
Vision improves gradually, though patients should not drive a
car until two to three weeks after the surgery; optimum visual
results are obtained as the cornea heals and may take anywhere
from 6 weeks to 6 months.