Why Some People Prefer PRK Over Other Laser Eye Surgeries

Before there was LASIK, today’s commonly used laser eye surgery, PRK or the Photorefractive keratectomy was popularly used. These laser eye surgery methods corrects visual problem of people with mild to moderate farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. These vision surgeries use laser to reshape the cornea of the eye so that the light passing through it will be focused by the retina which is located at the back of the eye.

When LASIK came into the picture, most patients and surgeons preferred it over its pioneer, PRK. However, there are still some who never shifted sides and continually promotes PRK over LASIK and other laser eye surgeries.
Here’s why:

• No dry eyes problem in PRK

In LASIK operation, an epithelial flap is created on your cornea. This procedure separates the nerves beneath the cornea to the surface of your eye. With this situation, the brain does not receive the same signals from the nerves in your cornea that stimulate the production of tears. This will lead to lack of tears or a dry eye. This effect in a LASIK operation can last for several months, some for 6 months, while in rare cases, longer. Old patients undergoing the operation and those with pre-existing dry eye condition is at a higher risk for worse outcome.

Corneal haze has now an immediate treatment

Some patients undergoing PRK pointed out that they experienced hazy vision after the surgery. Usually this corneal haze occurs when there is an aggressive healing. There is now a solution to this problem. During the operation an eye drop called the dilute mitomycin-C is administered to your eyes. This will eliminate the blurry vision. So far, no complication has been reported of users of the product.

• PRK reports of fewer complications

In a LASIK surgery, the usual problem encountered is complications related to the flap. In PRK, the only potential complication that a patient would experience is a cornea infection. However, this is very rare. According to statistics, this only happens 1 in 500 eyes. Infection or minor complications for most patients who have undergone PRK surgery are treated immediately and in almost all of the reported cases, it did not lead to severe eyesight problem.

What to Expect in a LASEK Eye Surgery

LASEK is a type of laser eye surgery that is a variation of the PRK method. Like other laser surgery, LASEK is a procedure that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It combines certain procedures from PRK and LASIK.
LASIK is the most popular among the laser eye operations. However, there are some people who do not qualify for the LASIK procedure. In scenarios as these, surgeons opt for either the PRK or the LASEK.

How to prepare and what to expect in a LASEK Eye Surgery

Before the operation, the surgeon will have to perform standard initial eye examination. This is to determine if you are really suitable for LASEK eye surgery. Your medical records will be thoroughly evaluated as well to ascertain that you do not have any eye diseases that may cause complication.
Most of the surgeons recommend LASEK to their patients if they are not suitable for LASIK eye surgery.

During the operation, the surgeon places droplets of numbing water to your eye so you will not experience discomfort. The surgeon then makes a cut in the epithelium of the cornea suing the trephine, a fine blade. The trephine leaves a portion of the flap uncut so that it acts a hinge and is still attached to the eye.

Afterwards, the surgeon places a diluted alcohol solution on your eye for about 30 seconds. The alcohol smoothens the rough edges of the flap and the surgeon will push the flap to the side. The excimer laser then does its job of reshaping the stroma of the cornea to correct the patient’s vision. When the treatment is done, the flap is repositioned.

When completed, a special contact lens is placed on your eye which acts as a bandage.

The LASEK eye surgery takes at most 15 minutes per eye. In the entire operation, the patient is awake and should not be feeling any pain.

After the surgery, the surgeon will urge you to rest for a couple of minutes before heading home. The special contact lens that acts as a bandage will have stay on your eyes for at least four days while the epithelial cells are healing. The surgeon will also prescribe some medications for you to take.

The recovery from a LASEK eye surgery is generally slower than that of the LASIK and the PRK.