So you might be thinking, what’s the difference between PRK and LASIK?
What is PRK?
PRK Singapore – This procedure, also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy, is a type of laser eye surgery designed to correct vision problems such as Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism.
PRK was the very first laser surgery out in the market, and came before the now widely used LASIK (laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis). However, PRK is today still used today, depending on the different eye requirements which will bring those patient benefits. Both LASIK and PRK have the same desired effect as both surgeries work by changing the shape of the cornea.
Key Difference of PRK vs LASIK
The key difference between PRK vs LASIK is that in PRK, the eye doctor does not cut into the cornea, but instead only remove the cornea’s entire epithelial (outer layer) to expose the area and no flap is created. For both procedures, the excimer laser will then sculpt the stromal layer of the cornea to correct the vision error.
LASEK, a variation of PRK, is also slightly different. Instead of removing the outer epithelial layer of the cornea as with PRK, LASEK involves lifting the epithelial layer (using a surgical instrument called a trephine), preserving it during surgery and then replacing it on the eye’s surface at the end of the procedure.
In short, Lasik = Flap, PRK = NO flap.
Advantage of PRK:
- Suitable for patients with thin cornea
- Suitable for patients with chronically dry eyes
- Less depth of laser treatment than LASIK
- No risk of cornea flap complications
- Reduced risk of compromising cornea thickness
Disadvantages of PRK:
- Much slower recovery than LASIK
- Eye takes much longer to stabalise, meaning perfect vision takes longer to achieve
- Higher risk of post-surgery infection, inflammation and haze
- More eye discomfort and possibly pain with PRK, compared to LASIK.
What is the PRK procedure like?
You will be awake during the entire procedure, but the eye doctor singapore may give you a sedative to help you relax.
To prepare for surgery, your eyes will be cleaned and anaesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes. Once your eye is totally numb, an eyelid holder will be used to hold your eyelids in place to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
The surgery itself proper will thus begin. You will be asked to look at a target light while your eye doctor singapore monitors your eye through a microscope as the laser corrects your cornea.
The laser energy works by removing microscopic amounts of tissue and reshapes the cornea. Most people do not feel any discomfort, although you may feel some pressure on your eye. Should your doctor feel anything is not right, he has full control of the laser and can stop the procedure at any time.
PRK is performed on each eye separately, with each eye taking about five to ten minutes. While some patients have both eyes corrected on the same day, others may choose to have the surgery on their second eye a week or two later.
After the laser has done its job, your eye doctor will then cover the treated cornea with a bandage contact lens. Within days, new epithelial cells grow back, and the bandage contact is removed.
PRK Recovery time
PRK patients can expect one to three days of eye discomfort or pain. They can also expect blurring and other post-surgical effects to take about three days to subside, and eventually it will take up to some time for vision to reach absolute peak clarity and acuity. During recovery time, a PRK patient will be given a prescription (for several months’ worth) of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to promote healing and to reduce discomfort after eye surgery.
Most patients can usually resume driving a car one to three weeks after the procedure, but it can take three to six months before vision is completely 6/6 clear and stable.
Ultimately, choosing between PRK and LASIK is a decision best made in consultation with your eye doctor who specializes in laser eye surgery. The good news is that past records has shown that eventually whichever procedure you choose, you’re likely to be very pleased with the outcome.
Should you be thinking of doing laser eye surgery, do read our laser eye syrgery checklist to see if you are ready for this procedure.
Important to take care of your eyes after laser eye surgery
Most importantly, after your PRK Singapore surgery, it is very important to follow your eye surgeon’s instructions and advice very clearly, because ultimately the quality of your final vision is dependent on how well your corneas heal. Remember to always use your eye drops and any medications your doctor prescribes, and don’t miss your follow up appointment.