Could PRK Be Right For You?

Could PRK Be Right For You?

Created on: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Author: Chesen Laser Eye Center

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Have you had a LASIK consultation but found out you're not a good candidate? That's okay! There are other vision correction procedures you may be a better fit for. 

One of these is a procedure called PRK. PRK is a lot like LASIK but it's often better for those that aren't LASIK candidates. Keep reading to learn if PRK could be right for you!

What Is PRK?

PRK is a vision correction surgery. Like LASIK, it's designed to treat poor eyesight that comes from misshapen corneas. This is a great solution for those nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. Here’s how it works.

To improve your eyesight, your eye surgeon will need to reshape your corneas. Even slight adjustments can make a world of difference when it comes to your vision. 

The reshaping of the cornea actually happens in the middle of the cornea’s three layers. This layer is the thickest, so it contains the most tissue to work with. 

To get to this layer, a sizable section of the top layer is removed. Don’t worry, you won’t feel any of this because you'll receive numbing eye drops at the beginning of the procedure. 

After removing the top layer with a femtosecond laser, an excimer laser extracts the tissue that needs to be removed. This excimer laser is also combined with strong computers that map out your cornea. 

Together, they work in tandem to remove the necessary tissue from precise locations. After finishing the removal process, the opening in your cornea is left open. 

It's covered with a contact that acts as a bandage for a few days. The cornea is good at healing, so the top layer will eventually grow back. Once the top layer grows back, it will be in a way that makes your vision crystal clear. 

How Is PRK Different From LASIK?

Much of the process described above is how LASIK works, but there is one major difference. In LASIK, the top layer of tissue is not left open. 

In fact, it is never fully removed. Instead, the surgeon leaves the tissue barely attached, so that it creates a flap. 

The rest of the procedure is the same, but at the end of having LASIK, the flap is put back down and left to reattach itself. 

The obvious benefit of LASIK is that the healing process will take much less time. With LASIK, the tissue only needs to reconnect instead of growing back from scratch. 

With PRK, there is the advantage of there being no risk for flap complications. For patients that have had LASIK, this is the cause of most problems, though it is quite rare. 

In certain cases, a patient may not be eligible for LASIK due to thin corneas. PRK is perfect for this kind of patient. 

Wondering if PRK may be right for you if you're not a good candidate for LASIK? Schedule an appointment at Chesen Laser Eye Center in West Reading, PA today!


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