What is PRK? The Basics for New Patients in Melbourne

Short for photorefractive keratectomy, PRK laser surgery is a procedure used to correct refractive errors like hyperopia (long-sightedness), myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism. You might have heard it referred to as ASA/ASLA (Advanced Surface Laser Ablation) and LASEK. Initially developed in the 1980s, PRK was the first-ever laser eye surgery.

NewVision Clinics specialises in expert PRK and ophthalmologist services in Melbourne, with a track record of over 36,000 laser procedures by our surgeon. Below, we look at PRK surgery, its benefits and how it compares to the newer, more common LASIK procedure.

PRK Surgery Process

Once anaesthetic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops have been applied, and an ice pack held in place for five minutes, your PRK laser surgery can begin. Your surgeon will gently polish away the outer layer of the eye (epithelium) before using a laser to precisely sculpt the cornea and reshape it to correct the refractive error. A contact lens that acts as a bandage is then placed on the eye to promote healing while the surface layer grows back over the following few days.

PRK Surgery Recovery

It is normal to experience some discomfort on the second and third days following surgery as the cornea’s surface regenerates. An optometrist will assess your healing process and remove your contact lens ‘bandage’ at a follow-up appointment. Your vision is usually good enough to drive within 7 days and you can return to work within a week.

Benefits of PRK Laser Surgery

You might wonder what the benefits of PRK surgery are and why some patients choose it over LASIK. PRK is better suited for patients with thinner corneas and is safer than LASIK. While LASIK surgery involves cutting a micro flap into the epithelium instead of removing it, PRK does not, therefore eliminating rare flap-related complications. Issues with dry eyes are also reduced as PRK minimises disruption of corneal nerves.

Learn More About PRK Eye Surgery in Melbourne

During your consultation with NewVision Clinics in Melbourne, we can provide tailored advice on which type of laser eye surgery best suits your circumstances. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about PRK laser surgery.