PRK is nothing but Photorefractive keratectomy. It is one of the refractive surgery which is used to correct hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism. It is regarded as the first type of laser surgery to its predecessor LASIK. But the time taken for recovery for PRK is more when compared to LASIK. But it is advantageous for some people than LASIK.
Reshaping Corneal Tissue for Clear Vision
In a PRK, the eximer laser is used to reshape the cornea, allowing light to enter the cornea, focusing on retina for clear vision. In PRK, the cornea’s thin outer layer is removed. It is discarded before reshaping the corneal tissue, by the use of an eximer laser. Within some days, the epithelium gets repaired itself. While in LASIK, a thin flap is made using fematosecond laser on the cornea.
Variations and Considerations
There is also a variation for PRK, called LASEK. It is done by lifting the epithelial layer instead of removing as done in PRK. But LASEK is not as popular as the time taken for recovery is more compared to PRK. It takes some days for new epithelial cells to grow and cover eyes surface. There is also a risk of eye infection and hazy vision for some few days. LASIK treated people recover quickly and also have less discomfort. The vision stabilization is also quicker.
Benefits and Treatment Scope
The entire stroma is available for treatment in a PRK surgery as it does not create corneal flap. PRK is beneficial when the patient has thin cornea. It has some advantages such as laser depth is less; suitable for thin corneal patients and no corneal flap complications.
First, the central corneal epithelium area is removed with the help of an alcohol solution or a surgical instrument. Then the eximer laser is used to reshape the curvature. It delivers UV light to remove micro layers of tissue precisely. Then a contact lens bandage is placed on the cornea and removed after five days or a week, allowing the epithelial cells to grow back.
Before the treatment, the evaluation of pupil is done. Other things such as moistness, corneal curvature and thickness are also taken into account. Just 15 minutes is needed for this procedure and a mild oral sedative or a numbing eye drop is applied.
Achieving Clear Vision and Recovery
PRK surgery restores 20/20 vision. Individuals sensitive to light post-surgery can benefit from photochromic lenses coated with anti-reflective coating (ARC) for temporary relief. Although rare, glare might occur as a post-surgery complication, which can often be resolved through an enhancement surgery.
Contact your surgeon to know whether PRK or LASIK is suitable for you.
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