PRK - Photorefractive keratectomy

PRK was the first laser vision correction procedure and a predecessor to the LASIK procedure.

PRK treatment is a refractive eye surgery procedure designed to treat mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness or farsightedness Astigmatism. It does so by reshaping the surface of the cornea without creating a flap to correct refractive errors in order to bring vision back into focus. Today many surgeons can perform LASIK surgery thanks to previous PRK surgeries and considering that the origin of LASIK is comes from PRK surgery, doesn't mean that this procedure is obsolete, in fact many surgeons still performing this surgery because according to them is safer.

The PRK surgery is very similar to LASIK surgery; both procedures combined with an Excimer laser reshape the cornea. The main difference is that in PRK, there is no flap involve, in other words with this surgery the Excimer laser reshape the surface of the cornea rather than the tissue beneath a flap.

Because there is no creation of a flap with PRK surgery, any problems with making a flap are non-existent. However, there is a difference on recovery time frame associated with this procedure, as well as additional post-operative visits. Generally, most patients feel some discomfort in the early days after the procedure. By the beginning of the second week, the discomfort is gone and the vision is good enough to resume most normal activities and to return to work. Full recovery vision acuity can take over 30 days in a few cases.

The side effects and complications of PRK are similar to those reported with LASIK and should be addressed with the same level of concern.

In this PRK video we can see the doctor using a motor to define the area where the epithelium is going to be remove, as soon as he is done with this medical device, he remove the corneal tissue with a surgical blunt knife, then he proceed with the Laser.

When the doctor apply the motor on the cornea, the patient feel some discomfort, because some pressure on the eye occur doing the procedure pushing forward in order to remove eventually the epithelium.

Page updated January 05, 2010