PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) was first performed in Australia in 1991.
PRK is used to treat short-sightedness (myopia) and astigmatism (an imperfection in the eye’s curvature that results in distorted vision). PRK may be recommended if you have a thin or unusually shaped cornea or certain dry eye conditions.
PRK surgery is a safe and precise refractive procedure. The process differs from LASIK in that no flap is created in the cornea, but rather, the epithelium (surface cell layer) is removed, and the same laser energy is applied to the underlying corneal stroma, re-shaping the surface of the cornea to your individual requirements.
Quick surgery; No flap creation; Repeatable; Good for thinner cornea and dry eye conditions.
Only one laser is used in this process as no flap is required. A mild sedative id offered prior to the procedure.
Topical anaesthetic drops are applied to the corneal surface. The surface cell layers are removed using a special sponge. The MEL90 excimer laser reshapes the cornea, a sponge soaked in Mitomycin C is then applied for a few seconds to prevent corneal haze. A contact lens is then placed on the corneal surface to allow the corneal epithelium to regrow over the ensuing days and relieve any discomfort.
Once the surgery is complete, your eyes are checked to ensure the contact lens is well positioned. Post-operative instructions are then provided and a shield is given for you to use overnight. We provide you with drops and medication to assist with any discomfort.
Parameters to have PRK are similar to those for LASIK surgery. Patients with marginally thin corneas may be more suited to PRK surgery. Patients with dry eye may also be better suited to have PRK surgery.
Mr. P is a 30-year-old builder. He is a keen cyclist. He is short-sighted and wears glasses. He wears contact lenses when riding his bike, but finds that his eyes sting and his vision gets very blurred when riding. He doesn’t have symptoms of dry eye but has quite marked dry eye at his assessment. He was advised to have PRK rather than LASIK surgery. He had his PRK surgery. The next day, his vision was 6/9 in both eyes and he had mild discomfort. One week later, his vision was 6/6 in each eye and his eyes were very comfortable even after the contact lens was removed.
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.