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What is PRK?

What is PRK Treatment?

PRK treatment is carried out as an outpatient procedure. PRK stand for Photo Refractive Keratectomy. This technique was once very popular due to its effectiveness in treating myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The technique is very similar to LASIK, but the keratectomy by microkeratome is unnecessary. The surgeon will gently remove the outer layer of cells (skin) from the surface of your cornea with a hand-held instrument before treating your eye with the laser. You will hear the laser make a faint clicking sound. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes and the laser treatment itself is very brief-typically lasting for no more than 45 seconds. It is a more desirable method for patients with a thin cornea.

However, the recovery time of PRK is longer than LASIK and there is a greater risk of infection, corneal haze. Steroid eye drops must also be used for longer time and close observation and checkups are required.

PRK Preparation

There are a few steps that preoperative patients need to complete before PRK can be done, such as preliminary preoperative examination and an eye evaluation, which will be performed by our refractive surgery specialists.

  • A Good Candidate for PRK Surgery
  • Preoperative PRK Preparation
  • Step of PRK Treatment
  • Post Operative PRK

A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR PRK SURGERY:

  • A person who desires the freedom from wearing glasses and/or contact lenses and dislikes the inconveniences that occur from ones’ dependence on eyewear.
  • All individuals considering PRK surgery must be at least 18 years old. Young eyes are still in their development stages and are constantly changing, so it is advisable to wait until eyes reach their mature, stable phase. This will assure the most positive, permanent result.
  • An individual free of corneal disease, especially keratoconus or thin cornea, or any disease that will delay the wound healing process.
  • Pregnant woman are not allowed to receive PRK treatment due to the instability of the bodies hormones.
  • People  who have a complete understanding of the benefit and side effects of the PRK surgery, and have realistic expectations of the outcomes.

PREOPERATIVE PRK PREPARATION

The EYE examination There are a few steps that preoperative patients need to complete before LASIK/PRK can be done, such as preliminary  preoperative examination and an eye evaluation, which will be performed by our refractive surgery specialists.  It will take 2-3 hours for the eye examination, the step as follows

  • the corneal curvature and the corneal thickness by Orbscan and Topography
  • the pupil diameter by infrared Pupillometer
  • the refraction by Auto Refractometer
  • Manifest refraction before pupil dilatation with refractionist.
  • Measure Wavefront by OPDScan
  • dilate the pupil (this will be effecting your vision and light sensitivity)
  • Cycloplegic refraction after the pupil dilatation with refractionist.
  • work up examination and discuss with our refractive surgeon

The preoperative examination includes

1. Taking off the contact lens before the preoperative examination

  • For soft contact lenses, the contact lenses need to be taken off 3 days ahead of the day of consultation.
  • For hard contact lenses, the contact lenses need to be taken off 7 days ahead of time.

The reason is that wearing contacts lenses, for a long time, could change the curvature of the cornea, therefore the refraction have changed as well. Not wearing contact lens, for a while, will cause the shape and the curvature of eye to revert back to its natural shape, enabling us to get more precise data of the cornea.

2. Due to the blurry vision that results after the dilatation of the eyes, it is recommended that the patient be accompanied by a relative or close friend. Dilation because the eyes to become extremely light sensitive and the patient might not be able to drive a vehicle after dilating the pupil.

3. Bring a pair of sun glasses is recommended.

Preparation

  1. Take the contact lens off before hand (3 days for the soft lens, 7 days for the hard lens.)
  2. Take a blood test or bring test results with you when you come in.
  3. Please do not wear any perfume or body-spray that contains alcohol because the alcohol may effect the laser system.
  4. Please make an arrangement to be accompanied because after the surgery, the eye shields need to be used.

POST OPERATIVE PRK SURGERY

To avoid complications and to ensure the rapid healing process of the eyes, please comply with the following guidelines.

First day post-operative

  • If there is an excess of tears or discomfort or itching around your eyes, do not take the eye shield off. You should use soft cotton to gently clean around the eye shield
  • Get rest and try to keep both eyes closed. We advise against watching television or reading, since these activities only irritate your treated eye(s). If you cannot sleep, it is suggested to take low dose sleeping pills, which will be provided.
  • Allow the surgeon to remove the bandage lens after surgery – this will occur during your first aftercare visit (in the event that the bandage lens comes out before the visit, no attempt must be made to replace it yourself).

First  week post-operative

  • Instill the antibiotic drops and tear substitution as prescribed.
  • Put on the eye shield at night to avoid accidental contact.
  • Be careful of getting water or dust in your eyes and do not rub your eyes. Please wear protective goggles during contact sports or if there is any risk of debris entering the eye.
  • Avoid make-up, especially at the sensitive area around the eyes.
  • Wear sun glasses outside at all times to alleviate eye irritation and/or a burning sensation in the eyes.

Normally the check-up appointment times would be post operative LASIK 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year and 2 year