The Clearview Blog

What is PRK?

August 13, 2015

prkEveryone seems to think that they are a candidate for LASIK. Actually, that is not the case. In fact, many patients who come to Clearview Vision Institute for LASIK are told that another laser vision correction procedure called PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) is the right surgery for their eyes. So what exactly is PRK, and what makes it different from LASIK?

We will give you a quick study of their similarities and their differences and why PRK might just be the right laser vision correction procedure for your eyes.

PRK Basics

The laser vision correction procedure known as PRK is actually the forerunner of LASIK. It has always been a safe and effective way to treat all of the vision disorders like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

With any laser vision correction procedure, a cool laser gently re-shapes the inner cornea to correct your common visual disorders. The difference lies in the way the surgeon reaches that inner cornea. With Custom PRK, the outer surface of the cornea is either removed entirely or lifted. There is no flap created as with Custom LASIK. There is no pain involved in either procedure.

How the Decision is Reached

Everyone who is considering LASIK must undergo a series of tests to determine if they are a good candidate. During this extensive testing process, sometimes the results conclude that PRK is better for a particular patient. Why would that be?

  • One of the tests given to prospective LASIK patients measures the depth of the cornea. If a patient’s cornea is too thin to make a flap, then the doctor will recommend Custom PRK.
  • Pupil size is measured and if the doctor determines the pupil is too large, then Custom PRK will be recommended.
  • Some patients with chronically dry eyes may have better results with Custom PRK.
  • Patients that participate in active physical sports are better candidates for Custom PRK.

Each patient is carefully evaluated, and choosing the right procedure offers the best results.

Differences and Similarities

Let’s start with the similar aspects of Custom LASIK and Custom PRK. The most important message is that no matter what type of laser vision correction procedure you undergo, the results are going to be the same. You can expect the same outstanding crisp vision you have always wanted.

The main difference beyond the way the surgeon reaches the cornea, is the amount of time it will take to heal. You will achieve those great results with Custom PRK; it will just take a little longer. Because the outer surface of the cornea was virtually removed, it needs time to heal, so there will be a little more discomfort after the surgery.

This should not deter anyone. Although it will take a little longer to heal, the results will be worth the wait. Don’t let a few extra days of healing time keep you from enjoying a lifetime of clear vision.

Other Alternatives

The eye care specialists at Clearview Vision Institute will carefully evaluate your eyes and determine which procedure is right for you.

Among the other refractive alternatives available at Clearview is the Corneal Inlay Treatment. Dr. Kranemann will explain in detail his personal recommendation and which surgical procedure will help you achieve your best results.

If you have more questions about Custom PRK or Custom LASIK or to make an appointment, contact us.