More Patients Can Enjoy Seeing Clearly with PRK

Older woman posing with her arm around an older man. When patients come to our eye care practice seeking laser vision correction, most inquire about the LASIK procedure. While LASIK is a highly effective and well-known procedure, it is not the only option for laser vision correction. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a better option for some of our Austin and Lockhart patients. As with LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy surgery uses a laser to reshape of the cornea, correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. However, this procedure makes those alterations to the surface of the cornea rather than the inner tissues. Contact us today to learn more about PRK, including the benefits, recovery, and cost.

Am I a Candidate?

In general, laser vision correction procedures are extremely safe and are a viable treatment option for the majority of our patients. Determining which procedure is the most appropriate option for each patient requires a consultation with Dr. McGlathery, which will include a comprehensive eye exam. Each patient's eyes have unique characteristics that may make one treatment option more suitable than another. Some patients' corneas are too thin to undergo LASIK, which reshapes the tissue in the middle layers of the cornea. PRK reshapes the outer surface of the cornea, making it a suitable treatment for patients with thin corneas. The surest way to determine which method of laser vision correction is best for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. McGlathery.

What Happens During Surgery?

Photorefractive keratectomy surgery is a quick procedure. Both eyes can be corrected in about 10 to15 minutes. As with LASIK, the eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. This allows patients to undergo PRK surgery without feeling pain or discomfort. Once the eyes are numb, a laser will deliver ultraviolet light to reshape the cornea as necessary.

Recovery

Because the surface of the cornea is altered during PRK surgery, a bandage contact lens will be placed following the procedure, and will need to be worn for 3 to 4 days while the cornea heals. Prescription eye drops should be applied as directed during recovery in order to keep the eyes moist and free of infection. For the first several days after surgery, it is common for vision to be blurry. It can take several weeks until patients can resume driving, and it may take several months to fully recover.

Advantages of PRK

PRK offers the unique advantage of being able to improve vision without a corneal flap. Another advantage of PRK is that it has proven effective in helping many to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The results of PRK surgery are comparable to those of LASIK. Most patients experience 20/20 vision or better following treatment. 

Find out More about Photorefractive Keratectomy

If you would like to find out more about photorefractive keratectomy, benefits of the procedure, and the differences between PRK vs. LASIK, contact us to schedule a consultation. We are happy to discuss all of our vision correction procedures, and help you determine which is right for you.

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