Overview of PRK Eye Surgery
Advanced PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) is a surgical procedure that corrects refractive errors and reduces the need for glasses or contact lenses. PRK surgery is also commonly referred to as ASA / ASLA (Advanced Surface Laser Ablation) and LASEK. Developed in the 1980s and evolved further in 1990s, PRK laser eye surgery has successfully transformed the vision and the lives of millions of people around the world.
During Advanced PRK, the surgeon gently polishes away the outer skin of the eye (epithelium) and uses a cool beam of laser light to sculpt the corneal tissue into a new shape to correct the refractive error. A ‘bandage’ contact lens is placed on the eye to promote comfort and healing. The surface skin grows back over the next few days.
Following Advanced PRK eye treatment using the process of Lasersight® it is normal to feel some discomfort on the second and third day post-surgery as the cornea’s surface regenerates. Most patients will be completely comfortable by day four.
PRK Eye Surgery, Step-By-Step
PRK Surgery Preparation
Anaesthetic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops are applied to the eye. An icepack is held over the eye for 10 minutes.
The surgeon gently brushes away the outer layer of the cornea.
Computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are applied to the cornea.
Advanced PRK Completion
A ‘bandage’ contact lens is placed onto the eye to promote comfort and healing. This lens remains on the eye for 3 days, until removed by the optometrist.
Following your Advanced PRK surgery, you will need to attend a follow up appointment with your specialist who will assess the healing process and will remove your ‘bandage’ contact lens. Generally, vision will be good enough to drive within 4-5 days following your Advanced PRK surgery, and you may return to work within a week. However, you may not achieve your best vision until four weeks after PRK surgery as the epithelium will need to smooth out during the healing process.
The benefits of PRK Eye Surgery
- The surgery does not require the creation of a flap, eliminating flap related complications.
- PRK surgery is suitable for those with thinner corneas.
- The likelihood of dry eye is reduced as there is minimal disruption of the corneal nerves.
- The cost of PRK surgery is reasonable starting at just $2275 per eye.
What’s the difference between PRK and LASIK Surgery?
On the surface, PRK and LASIK surgery seem almost the same. However, the difference lies exactly there, on the surface. During PRK surgery, the cornea’s outer skin (epithelium) is gently brushed away to make way for the excimer laser. Once the surgery is complete, a ‘bandage’ contact lens will be placed over the eye while the epithelium heals.
During LASIK surgery however, the surgeon will cut a micro thin flap into the epithelium instead of brushing it away. This flap is then placed back over the cornea and forms its own natural ‘bandage’ which heals back in its original place.
The specific type of surgery required to treat your individual eye concern will be determined by your specialist after a thorough examination has been performed.
Where to find us
How long does PRK surgery take?
PRK surgery is a very quick procedure taking only 15-20 minutes. Due to its pace, patients commonly experience little to no discomfort during the surgery.
What is the recovery time following PRK surgery?
Discomfort following the surgery is likely to subside after 4-5 days once epithelium has reformed. By this point, your vision should be good enough to drive, however you may not experience your best vision until up to 4 weeks following the surgery when the epithelium has completely smoothed out.
How much does PRK surgery cost?
At NewVision Clinics, we offer a truly transparent pricing structure with every cost explained ahead of time. The exact cost of your surgery will depend on the complexity of your individual case, however our laser eye surgeries begin at $2275 per eye. We offer a range of different payment options to cover your surgery including customisable payment plans.