Everything You Need To Know About PRK Eye Surgery

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Key Takeaways

PRK is also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy. It is a refractive procedure that surgically corrects refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism eliminating the dependence on glasses or contacts. PRK was FDA-approved in the USA in 1995 and 4 years later, LASIK was FDA-approved. What is unique about PRK is that it was the first corrective eye surgery to use lasers versus a blade to remove corneal tissue and correct the curvature of the cornea and thereby the refractive error. 

How Does PRK Eye Surgery Work?

During PRK surgery, the laser is applied directly to the surface of the cornea leading to a longer and less comfortable recovery. At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we perform all-laser LASIK, meaning no blades are used to create a corneal flap. During LASIK surgery, a femtosecond laser creates a corneal flap and the surgeon lifts the flap to apply an excimer laser over the exposed corneal surface to correct the refractive error and then repositions the flap.  PRK is a very fast procedure, taking approximately 3-4 minutes per eye.  Historically, the later advent of LASIK resulted in PRK becoming less popular.

Why Is LASIK More Popular Than PRK? 

One great advantage of LASIK versus PRK was the healing time was shortened and less painful, from about a week to about 1 day with a full return to work or school the next day. However, PRK is still considered an excellent and safe refractive procedure in that the corneal flap created with LASIK cannot be damaged or dislodged. Not all patients are candidates for LASIK, and PRK is a viable option when patients have thin corneas and don’t have much tissue to spare to create a flap with LASIK. Some professions prefer PRK, such as the military. 

When is PRK discouraged? 

Overall good eye health is paramount for PRK and LASIK with no pre-existing medical conditions that could impede healing following eye surgery. PRK is a permanent refractive procedure that does not change; what changes is the eye aging with time. Presbyopia usually occurs around the 40s and this is the time in which other visual options are considered. 

How Long Is Recovery For PRK Eye Surgery?

PRK takes about 3-4 days for healing, with continual improvement in vision. Following surgery, at the post-operative appointment, when patients start feeling more comfortable, then patients can consider resuming everyday activities and travel. Both PRK and LASIK have been around for over 20 years improving the quality of life for millions of patients worldwide and both refractive procedures are fast, safe, and effective. Candidacy for each procedure is determined at your complimentary consultation with Dr. Iskander at San Antonio Eye Specialists.

For PRK Eye Surgery in San Antonio, Trust San Antonio Eye Specialists

San Antonio Eye Specialists and our head surgeon, Dr. Nader Iskander, are proud to be top providers of PRK eye surgery in San Antonio, Texas. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call today. 

Frequently Asked Questions