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PRK Surgery

Photorefractive keratectomy for treatment of refractive errors

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PRK Surgery

What is it?

Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK surgery is a refractive surgery that is used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. It is a predecessor for the popular LASIK procedure and like LASIK it is done using the laser to reshape the cornea. PRK is done only on the surface of the cornea but not the tissue underneath, which is usually the case with LASIK. LASIK is performed by first creating a thin flap on the outer layer of the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser.

This flap is then lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue and once the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser, the flap is replaced.

PRK surgery is popular due to its high accuracy, especially for nearsightedness. This surgery typically results in a vision of 20/20 or at least 20/40 for the naked eye. PRK surgery might even reduce the patient’s requirement for eyeglasses or contact lenses to see and in some cases, completely stop using it.

A cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light (excimer laser) is used for PRK surgery to reshape the cornea allowing light to be properly focused on to the retina for a clear vision. The outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed before using the excimer laser. The epithelium then grows back after the surgery.

LASEK is another variation of PRK but not used widely due to its slower recovery of vision as for LASEK the epithelial layer is lifted replaced during surgery, which should take a longer time to recover than in PRK where a new epithelial layer is formed.

Why PRK Surgery?

PRK surgery has some advantages over other laser surgeries and it will be prescribed depending on the condition of the patient’s eyes. It is preferred for medical conditions, like, dry eyes or thin corneas, unlike LASIK where it is not recommended for these conditions as LASIK might pose a problem after surgery.

PRK is very much recommended over LASIK for people with active lifestyle or job where the chances of dislodging a corneal flap after LASIK surgery can cause problems, whereas PRK does not involve cutting a flap like in LASIK.

Conditions for PRK surgery

The doctor will opt for a PRK surgery if the patient satisfies the following conditions:

  • The ideal age for surgery is 21 years when vision is stable but can be performed from 18 years onwards.
  • Stable eye condition for the past 1 year.
  • Refractive error should be suitable for PRK surgery.
  • Eye and especially, the cornea, should be healthy

It is recommended to learn about the procedure and have a proper expectation about the treatment.

The doctors will not recommend PRK surgery for patients with the following conditions:

  • Unstable refractive error
  • A disease that can affect healing
  • History of certain eye infections
  • Frequent scarring
  • Cornea disease
  • Advanced glaucoma
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Cataract
  • Pregnant or nursing women
Risks or complications of PRK surgery

Some of the risks involved are as follows:

  • Corneal infection
  • Scarring of the cornea
  • Corneal Haze
  • Glare around lights during night

In general, PRK surgery is a good option if the patient meets all the conditions or requirements. The patient can then decide on the treatment if he/she is not comfortable using eyeglasses or contact lens, after consulting an ophthalmologist or after proper guidance.

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Why Amrit

Amrit Hospital was conceptualized with an aim to strive to provide patients with a safe place to get treated. We strive to put our patients’ comfort and treatability above our own concerns. Therefore, we stress on using the latest technology in terms of biomedical equipment, laboratory, surgeries, etc. Amrit Hospital has opted for the latest in LASIK technologies to fight the ophthalmological issues that affect the majority of the patients.