Q: What is PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) & how does it differ from LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis)?
A: PRK/LASIK are procedures that use an ultraviolet excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Unlike lasik, PRK does not involve creation of a flap. PRK was FDA approved before Lasik. For some patients PRK may be more advisable than Lasik (thin cornea, irregular corneas, dry eyes). Results of both are similar.
Q: How effective is PRK?
A: The majority of patients will be 20/20 or better. 90 to 95% will have uncorrected vision 20/40 or better (able to pass the drivers license test). Serious complications are extremely rare. Infection is the most worrisome, but usually it can be treated with antibiotic drops. Other complications include delayed surface healing, corneal haze/scarring, over/undercorrection. Most problems can be fixed
Q: What does PRK treat?
A: PRK treats nearsightedness, farsightedness & astigmatism.
Q: Can you do PRK monovision?
A: Yes, just like lasik, monovision can be created with PRK
Q: Does PRK hurt?
A: The actually surgery is painless & done with just anesthetic drops. There will be some pain & soreness for a few days after the procedure.
Q: How long to heal?
A: PRK takes longer than LASIK to heal. Vision fluctuates over the first few months, but is usually about 20/40 after the first week (able to pass drivers license test)
Q: Are the effects of PRK permanent?
A: In the great majority PRK is a permanent procedure.