PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. This type of refractive surgery can correct mild cases of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. PRK is a predecessor to the more popular LASIK surgery. Just like other LASIK surgery, PRK reshapes the cornea using an excimer laser. This laser delivers a cool, pulsing beam of ultraviolet light and is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath it as in LASIK surgery. This laser, controlled by a computer, removes only a microscopic amount of tissue in a very precise pattern.
During PRK surgery the entire epithelial layer of the cornea is removed to expose the area being treated by the excimer laser. With LASIK just a thin flap will be created in the surface layers of the cornea. Because no flap is created with PRK there is less risk of complications from this and the concern that too much of the corneal tissue is removed is reduced. This is an advantage for patient who have corneas that are too thin for LASIK surgery.
The results of PRK are comparable to those of LASIK, though the initial recovery is slower because following PRK it takes a few days for the new epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye. Because of the longer recovery time, LASIK became the laser vision procedure of choice for most doctors.
PRK has been performed in the United States since 1995 and has been highly accurate in correcting nearsightedness. The majority of PRK patients have 20/20 vision by about 90 days after surgery is completed without glasses or contact lenses. With such a high success rate and low risk of complications, PRK may be the surgery that is just right for you. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gary Tylock today and he will discuss with you any concerns you have about laser correction surgery and will also examine your eyes to determine which surgery would work best for you. The number to the office is 972-258-6400.