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PRK Candidates Can Achieve Vastly Improved Vision

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Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can be an excellent laser vision correction alternative to laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Because the healing time is longer for PRK than for LASIK, it is usually reserved for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. However, some patients choose PRK proactively for certain benefits. Both of these procedures are performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK candidates for surgery at our Toronto, ON, practice are patients who would like to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. We are a highly trained, experienced team of corneal specialists performing safe laser vision correction with consistently outstanding results. To find out how we can help you see more clearly, schedule a complimentary consultation today.

Comparing PRK with LASIK

Laser vision correction originated with PRK, and the technique was refined into what is now known as LASIK. Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors. The only difference is the manner in which the inner layer of the cornea, called the stroma, is accessed. With LASIK, the surgeon creates a thin flap on the cornea to access the inner tissue. With PRK, the entire outer layer of cells is removed. This tissue grows back naturally over several days. LASIK became the preferred method because of faster healing times, since only the edges of the flap need to heal. However, PRK is likely the better option for patients with:

  • Irregularly shaped corneas
  • Thin corneas
  • Prior eye surgery
  • Large pupils
  • Dry eyes
  • More severe visual errors

Proactive PRK

Some patients who receive LASIK choose PRK because of certain benefits, as well as a minimized risk of complications, that derive from the differences between the two surgeries. Because no flap is created, the corneal tissue remains more stable than with LASIK. This factor can be significant for patients in occupations where there is concern about future eye trauma, such as sports players, police officers, or members of the military. Some patients may also choose PRK because there is zero risk of flap complications. Though rare, flap complications are one of the risks of LASIK and can include infections and inflammation at the flap site, which could make the epithelial layer heal abnormally. However, blade-free LASIK greatly reduces this risk, as does Wavefront technology, and we use both. Finally, PRK treatment does not require as much depth as LASIK. This reduces the risk of the surgeon removing too much of the cornea during its reshaping, and it leaves more tissue in place for a second treatment or future enhancement surgery.

In short, every patient who is a candidate for LASIK is also a candidate for PRK. Your individual lifestyle and personal preferences will also factor into your decision.

Learn More During a Consultation

If you are over 18 and your vision has been stable for at least one year, you could be a good candidate for PRK. Our outstanding surgical team offers top-level care for your vision treatment in a compassionate and caring environment. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.