PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy)
PRK, also known as Advanced Surface Ablation or Photo Refractive Keratectomy, was the first procedure performed using the Excimer laser. This procedure corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. The main difference between LASIK and PRK is that with LASIK a corneal flap is created and the laser is applied to the inner tissue of the cornea. With PRK, the epithelium (or outer skin of the cornea) is removed and a laser is applied to the surface of the cornea.
Photo Refractive Keratectomy can be used to correct low to high levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is a common LASIK alternative, preferred by eye doctors for patients with thin corneas that may not be well-suited for LASIK eye surgery.
PRK vs. LASIK for Vision Correction
Because PRK does not create a permanent flap in the deeper corneal layers (the LASIK procedure involves a mechanical microkeratome using a metal blade or a femtosecond laser microkeratome to create a ‘flap’ out of the outer cornea), the cornea’s structural integrity is less altered by PRK.
The LASIK process covers the laser treated area with the flap of tissue which is from 100 to 180 micrometers thick. This flap can mute the nuances of the laser ablation, whereas PRK performs the laser ablation at the outer surface of the cornea. The use of the anti-metabolite mitomycin can minimize the risk of postoperative haze in persons requiring larger PRK corrections.
PRK does not involve a knife, microkeratome, or cutting laser as used in LASIK. Patients may experience more pain and slower visual recovery, with full vision improvements taking up to one month.
Malik Eye Care has multiple locations in Manhattan, Jackson Heights, Hollis, Forest Hills, and Long Island. For more information about PRK and other LASIK alternatives in the greater Manhattan region, or to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our vision correction procedures, contact our office or request an appointment today!