Photorefractive Keratectomyor PRK eye surgery is a type of laser procedure, frequently performed to treat the patient’s sight problems and decrease their dependency on contact lens or glasses. While performing the PRK eye surgery, a precise excimer laser is used to modify the shape of the cornea, effectively correcting any refractive errors such as astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness.
PRK eye surgery and LASIK eye surgery are very similar procedures, but there are different advantages and disadvantages to each procedure.
PRK surgery has several advantages that involve:
● It can be performed for the patients who have a very thin cornea
● No risk of corneal flap complications
● Less depth of laser treatment, compared to LASIK
Also, PRK surgery has few disadvantages that include:
● It has a longer recovery period than LASIK
● A longer time is needed for the patients to gain their full vision
● The risk for the infection after the operation is higher
● There are more temporary side effects than LASIK
Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK eye surgery can be performed for the patients who are:
● Over 18 years old
● Patients who are not pregnant during the operation
● Suffering from myopia with dioptres between -1.00 and -12.00
● Suffering from a stable refraction error – it has not changed for at least 12 months
● Patients with a complete understanding of the procedure and its results
● Patients who have a pupil that’s 6 mm or less
Also, PRK surgery is suggested for patients who are suffering from hyperopia or astigmatism as well.
PRK Eye Surgery (37 Clinics)
For the patients who are suffering from severe myopia (dioptres over -12.00 union PRK surgery is not suggested. There are other contraindications that include:
● Pregnant women
● Patients under the age of 18
● Other ocular diseases such as glaucoma, keratoconus or dry eye syndrome
● Patients with a history of side effects from steroids
● Rheumatoid arthritis
● Corneal ulceration
● Corneal dystrophy type II
You will need 1 trip abroad to complete the whole procedure, and follow up with your local doctor.
Overnight stay is not required
A couple of days before the surgery, the patients should stop wearing contact lenses. For at least 4 days before the PRK surgery, the patient should avoid toric contact lenses. For at least a week before the PRK surgery, hard gas permeable lenses should be avoided as well.
Generally, the PRK eye surgery is performed under local anesthesia, and the operation lasts for only 10-15 minutes.
To the patient's eyes, numbing eye drops are applied and to keep the patient’s eye open a medical tool is used. In order to eliminate microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea, an excimer laser is used, correcting the refractive errors properly. The practice is performed for each eye independently. Sometimes it is performed on the same day. Some of the patients choose to have the second operation for the other eye a week or two after the first operation. After the first operation, the treated eye is covered with a bandage contact lens that allows the epithelial cells to grow back again. The bandage would be removed in a couple of days.
The recovery period of PRK eye surgery is very short. Right after the operation, the patients can go back to work or their normal activities. After the operation, the patient’s sight would be improved, but the cornea still needs to heal itself, which means that the patient might experience blurriness.
In a week after the operation, the patient would be noticing substantial vision improvement and in around 4 weeks, the patient's sight would be at its best condition. During the recovery period, the patients should avoid touching or rubbing their eyes since it might interfere with the recovery process. During the recovery period, swimming in the ocean and doing contact sports are not recommended.
PRK eye surgery has several risks and complications that include:
● Under correction or over correction
● Recurrence of myopia
● Reduced vision in low light● A permanent increase in sensitivity to light
● Infection in the eye region
● Revision surgery
PRK eye surgery has several side effects which might involve redness around the eyes, itchiness and dryness in the eyes and temporary increased sensitivity to the light. Also, after the procedure, some patients might experience pain as well.
PRK eye surgery has a success rate between 80 to 98% However, the success rate is depended on the condition the patient is suffering from
Even after the photorefractive keratectomy or PRK eye surgery, it is possible for some of the patients to still rely on reading glasses. A month after the operation, the best possible results would be noticeable.
- Is PRK surgery painful?
No, the patients would only experience discomfort after the operation.
- Is PRK surgery safer than LASIK?
PRK surgery and LASIK are equally safe operations; the only difference between them is that PRK surgery is bladeless.
- What are the chances of developing complications from PRK surgery?
The complication rate of PRK surgery are very rare which is 1.7%.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in September, 2019.