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Are you considering vision correction surgery in San Antonio? Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) might be the best solution for you. As an alternative to LASIK surgery, PRK has helped thousands of patients achieve clear vision. Let’s explore the world of PRK surgery, discover if it’s the right choice for your eyes, AND answer the real question.... are patients still picking photorefractive keratectomy as a laser refractive surgery solution?
PRK eye surgery historically has been the main alternative to LASIK offering a safe vision correction. Oftentimes, it is picked as the vision correction solution for athletes, law enforcement, or those with thinner corneas.
New types of PRK are available and may be better for certain eyes.
Patients have newer PRK alternatives and this has affected the volume of PRK
WHY IS PRK better for thin corneas?
LASIK San Antonio has extensive experience in with all three types of PRK surgery which employs wavefront or topo-guided technology to provide a more personalized treatment plan. We will come back to discuss more about these three types in just a second.
First, let's provide a comprehensive understanding of the PRK procedure, its benefits, and how it stands in comparison to other vision correction methods like LASIK surgery.
The PRK procedure, also known as PRK laser eye surgery, includes the following steps:
Instill numbing or anesthetic drops to numb the patient’s eyes and placement of the eyelid holder to keep the eyes open.
Gentle debridement of the eye's surface layer of cells, known as epithelial cells, from the corneal tissue using a soft tipped instrument.
Use of an excimer laser to precisely reshape the surface layer to the targeted prescription, without the creation of a corneal flap as in LASIK surgery.
Place a bandage contact lens on the eye's surface, put some antibiotic eye drops, and then we will send you home with a prescription for more eye drops and pain medication.
Wait, did you say pain medication? Uhh.. yes. Out of all the laser vision correction procedure we do, PRK is the most uncomfortable. It is normal to experience discomfort after this procedure and again the reason why we prescribe pain medications for the early 1-3 day post operative period.
So why would patients even get PRK?
1. It's their only option. Patients with thin corneas or with a goofy-shaped cornea often can possibly have PRK as the only option for them. And sometimes, PRK actually gives them better vision then they have ever seen in their life. More on topoguided PRK soon.
2. They are living an active lifestyle and they don't want the lasik flap. This is primarily the reason we see patients coming in not wanting LASIK laser eye surgery. Often times in this case, in order to avoid the post-operative pain/discomfort and the slower healing time, we consider the EVO ICL or SMILE eye surgery.
Though the PRK procedure is usually completed within 5 minutes for both eyes, it’s noteworthy that this differs from cataract surgery, where the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced. PRK has been proven to be a quick, safe, and effective method of enhancing vision for many patients in San Antonio, with a low risk of complications. Now the last two questions are: 1. Is PRK eye surgery the best LASIK alternative for me? And 2. If PRK eye surgery is the best refractive surgery for me, what type of the PRK procedures is best for me?
PRK and LASIK are both popular laser eye surgeries in San Antonio, offering vision correction for patients with various refractive errors. However, there are distinct differences between the two procedures, particularly when it comes to the recovery process. LASIK patients typically experience minimal discomfort and achieve satisfactory vision in a shorter time frame compared to PRK, which may take days, weeks, or even months for improvement. A recent study showed more patients, at the 1 month post op, with 20/20 vision with SMILE or LASIK compared to PRK. Since SMILE, LASIK, and EVO ICL have a quicker visual recovery and much less discomfort or pain, you could see why the percentage of patients who picked PRK, especially when the only two options were PRK or LASIK, is decreasing.
Often times if you ask patients for the truth about PRK, they will tell you that the first few days can be rough due to the discomfort or light sensitivity. Day 3, these patients wake up with clearer vision and their discomfort has significantly decreased. Would they do it all over again to be able to wake up and see? Of course.
One of my favorite patients only could get PRK. She wanted to be able to not deal with contacts on her safari trip. When she came in for her consult and we took her scans, we learned that she had a thinner cornea and dryness.
After discussing her scans with her, we thought PRK was the only safe procedure for her. I remember her coming back with a smile talking about how she was able to wake up, walk outside, and see elephants. That SMILE said it all. And actually speaking about SMILE, if you are wanting a quicker visual recovery with, much less discomfort, and no LASIK flap, you should consider SMILE eye surgery or EVO ICL (link to those pages).
In conclusion, PRK surgery is an effective vision correction option for active patients, those with thin corneas, or other corneal irregularities. With expert PRK doctors, advanced technology, and personalized treatments, patients can achieve optimal results and enjoy clear vision for years to come.
Overall, PRK is a better choice than LASIK for certain individuals that do not qualify for LASIK.
While recovery time takes longer with PRK, the results are the same as with LASIK after 3 months.
PRK and LASIK eye surgery cost the same.
PRK surgery is a quick procedure and has a high success rate of restoring vision and providing great vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
It is therefore especially worth considering for those who suffer from nearsightedness and/or astigmatism.
The main difference between PRK and LASIK surgery is that PRK involves the removal of the outer layers of the cornea, while LASIK involves creating a corneal flap.