PRK Eye Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ

Although LASIK may be considered the standard vision correction treatment, there are other options available that allow treatment to be more personalized. PRK laser corrective surgery has a long history and high rate of success with similar results to LASIK while offering a low chance of long-term complications and potentially serving as an alternative for patients who aren’t candidates for LASIK.

What Is PRK?

Are you wondering what is PRK vision correction? Photorefractive keratectomy is corrective eye surgery that came before the more commonly known LASIK. It is a similar type of corrective eye procedure in many ways. One of the major differences is that PRK doesn’t create a flap in the epithelium before proceeding with corrective laser surgery.
Where LASIK corrective eye surgery uses a small, bladed microkeratome to make a flap in the exterior epithelial layer, PRK surgery will instead remove it to expose the cornea’s surface underneath. From there, an excimer laser correctively reshapes the cornea, typically in under a minute.
A clear protective bandage, similar to a contact lens, is then applied, preventing the majority of potential discomfort and allowing the layer of the epithelium to regrow over the next few days while leaving the corrective eye surgery work unaffected.
Vision progressively improves with the removal of the lens. During the healing phase, eye drops keep the eye lubricated while minimizing possible inflammation and preventing infection.

What Is the PRK Success Rate?

While PRK vision correction is effective and safe, the procedural outcome will depend on the type and degree of correction. For patients with a low prescription, the results are equal to those of LASIK.

How Long Does PRK Surgery Take?

The photorefractive keratectomy procedure typically lasts for about 10 minutes while only lasting about 10 seconds for the laser portion. During the procedure, the patient remains alert and awake. In instances of higher patient anxiety, mild sedatives are also available.

Is the PRK Vision Correction Procedure Painful?

The PRK Vision Correction procedure is painless and uses drops of anesthetic to numb nerves in the eye. During post-operative healing, there can be varying levels of discomfort, similar to an eyelash in the eye, that typically last about three days and some blurry vision. For recovery symptoms, the patient can receive medication.

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Is PRK Corrective Eye Surgery Safe?

Any surgical procedure will involve risk. However, the type of corrective eye surgery PRK provides is considered the safest of all laser vision correction procedures and is also an option for patients who don’t qualify for a LASIK procedure.

An additional concern is whether PRK will potentially lead to blindness or worsened vision. The only cause for these results would be an infection, which is extremely rare.

What Is the Best Age for PRK Vision Correction?

Continually changing eyeglass prescriptions in younger people, typically before the age of 35, often leave them with the impression that they will have to wait for photorefractive keratectomy. But changing vision acuity isn’t always the result of changing eyes and can also result from issues with the focusing muscle.

Today’s advanced diagnostics have the potential to perceive the eye’s true situation beyond focusing-muscle-related issues, potentially opening up possibilities for PRK treatment in younger patients.

Will Corrective Eye Surgery PRK Address Astigmatism?

Although surgeries involving artificial lenses or laser vision correction were not equipped to correct astigmatism in the past, current technological advances have made PRK completely valid for treating cases of astigmatism.

PRK is also an ideal treatment for general myopia and is also completely successful in delivering clear near vision for reading. PRK, however, is not currently recommended for degenerative myopia, a type of nearsightedness that progressively worsens over time and is commonly diagnosed in people in the ranges of their 30s or 40s.

Why Choose PRK Rather Than LASIK?

Photorefractive keratectomy is a potential recommendation for patients with very thin corneas or eye conditions requiring less invasive procedures. PRK also allows for a high level of accuracy with minimal eye trauma and is a highly effective option for patients that aren’t candidates for LASIK. While healing times for PRK may be somewhat longer than those of LASIK, the results are very similar.

Voted America’s best ophthalmologist in 2021, Dr. Jay Arora, an anterior segment and comprehensive ophthalmologist and American Academy of Ophthalmology Fellow, focuses on complex cataract surgical approaches and refractive surgery techniques, including photorefractive keratectomy.
Certified in femtosecond-laser-assisted surgery for cataracts, Dr. Arora is also experienced in intraocular lens implantation, laser treatment for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about photorefractive keratectomy and why it may be the best choice for you, contact us today.
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