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Jul 23, 1976

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a type of laser eye surgery that can help people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

PRK surgery is a type of refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. The goal of PRK surgery is to correct vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, by removing a small amount of tissue from the cornea. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes per eye.

How does PRK surgery work?

PRK surgery is similar to LASIK surgery, but with a few key differences. In LASIK surgery, a flap is created in the cornea to access the underlying tissue, while in PRK surgery, the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed to expose the underlying tissue. Once the epithelium is removed, a laser is used to reshape the cornea by removing a small amount of tissue. The reshaped cornea helps to focus light properly onto the retina, improving vision.

What to expect during the PRK surgery procedure?

Before the procedure, you will receive eye drops to numb the surface of your eye and an instrument will be used to keep your eye open during the procedure. The surgeon will then remove the epithelium from the cornea using a special brush or alcohol solution. Once the epithelium is removed, the laser will be used to reshape the cornea. After the laser treatment, a contact lens will be placed on the eye to protect the cornea while it heals. You will be given eye drops to use after the procedure to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.

What are the potential risks and benefits of PRK surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, PRK surgery comes with potential risks and benefits. The potential benefits of PRK surgery include improved vision, reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses, and a lower risk of complications compared to LASIK surgery. The potential risks of PRK surgery include dry eyes, glare, halos, and difficulty seeing at night. In rare cases, complications such as infection or corneal haze may occur.

Who is a good candidate for PRK surgery?

PRK surgery is generally recommended for people who have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism and are not good candidates for LASIK surgery. It may also be recommended for people with thin corneas or other corneal abnormalities. To be considered a good candidate for PRK surgery, you should have a stable prescription, be in good overall health, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure.

In conclusion, PRK surgery is a safe and effective option for people who want to correct their vision without relying on glasses or contact lenses. While there are some potential risks and benefits to consider, most people who undergo PRK surgery experience improved vision and a higher quality of life.