What Is PRK Surgery?

There are many people out there who would rather have PRK surgery done on them than other laser eye surgeries like LASIK. They may have heard that it is a better and safer eye surgery than LASIK surgery, but this is not necessarily true. In this article, I will be explaining what PRK surgery is and its advantages and disadvantages.

The Department of Surgery | The GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences

First of all, PRK surgery stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It is a purely laser based eye surgery whereby an excimer laser is used to fire high energy radiation at the eye. The radiation emitted by the laser is of sufficient energy such that anything biological macromolecule that absorbs it will break down in a process called photoablation. There is computer system that tracks the position of the patient’s eye 60 to 4000 times a second in order to realign the laser pulses for accurate ablation. Also, modern laser equipment these days will automatically center on the patient’s visual axis and work at burning off the cornea otherwise it will pause if the eye is not on axis. After breaking down, there is a clear membranous like substance that covers the eye, which will allow the corneal epithelial cells to regenerate over time ophtalmologues Courbevoie.

As PRK surgery does not involve create flap, this kind of laser eye surgery avoids any kind of flap complications that can arise, especially after LASIK eye surgery. There are also many people who have undergone PRK surgery and have had achieved great success with this kind of eye surgery and have not experienced any flaws or drawbacks, even after years after the initial surgery.

However, as with all laser eye surgeries, they ultimately have their disadvantages. The most prominent disadvantage of PRK surgery compared to LASIK is that it has a longer recovery time. Also, patients after the surgery may also complain of visual aberrations such as haloes, glare, starbursts and ghosting or double vision, just like post LASIK surgery. As a matter of fact, visual disturbances from PRK surgery tend to be worse than LASIK surgery as statistics show that only 42% of 97 consecutive cases had a uniform pattern of refractive power in the ablation zone. In addition, 10% of these cases experienced distortions severe enough that they were constantly complaining about visual disturbances within their central field of view.

Another important point about PRK surgery is that it is not suitable for those with high degrees of myopia, or short-sightedness. Although it is technically possible to operate on someone with a high prescription of myopia, studies have shown that these patients have a strong tendency to regress to the point where the surgery has actually undercorrected their vision. This is obviously not a favourable outcome and alternatives to PRK surgery should be considered.

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