What Is PRK?
Professor Dan Reinstein – “PRK is the acronym for photorefractive keratectomy. So, we are using light photo to change the refraction, focusing of the keratectomy of the cornea by removing the tissue and that is done with XMR laser, in the same way as LASIK is done, but instead of creating a flap and lasering the bed and putting the flap back, which heals in three hours, we gently polish the skin off the surface of the cornea and we reshape right from the top of the cornea. The skin has to grow back, that process can take four to five days, and so the recovery time is much-much slower in PRK. The results of PRK and LASIK are exactly the same.”
PRK Explained Further…
PRK or photo-refractive keratectomy was the first vision correction procedure to use excimer lasers and grew out of the pioneering scalpel-based refractive surgery.
In PRK eye treatment, no corneal flap is cut, instead, the outer layer of cells from the surface of the cornea are removed entirely and subsequently grow back as part of the healing process.
After PRK, the surgeon places a soft contact lens over the eye to help the outer layer to grow back and this can take 3-5 days, during that period, the patient may experience discomfort and blurred vision. PRK takes longer to achieve a result than LASIK or SMILE, but because the surgeon does not create or manipulate a corneal flap, it is technically easier to perform.
PRK eye surgery has successfully treated millions of patients since its introduction in the 1980s.
At London Vision Clinic, our laser eye surgeons typically use PRK in only 5-10% of cases. The procedure is most suited to patients with unusually thin or flat corneas, which would make LASIK impractical.
You can read more about the different types of Laser Eye Surgery available at London Vision Clinic.