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Long-Term PRK Complications: What You Should Know

As with any surgical procedure, there is a potential for complications following photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) including undercorrection or overcorrection of your condition and corneal ulcers. While PRK complications are not always avoidable, at TLC Yonge Eglinton Laser Eye Centre® in Toronto, ON, our surgeons can minimize the risks of these complications through in-depth evaluations for candidacy, operation in accordance with best surgical practices, and extensive laser vision correction training.

Illustration of normal eye versus astigmatism

In extremely rare cases, PRK patients can develop astigmatism as a result of improper corneal healing.

Are Long-Term Complications Possible?

Although rare, complications can occur after PRK. These can include:

  • Undercorrection or Overcorrection: If there is too much or too little corneal tissue removed during your surgery, it could result in flawed vision.
  • Corneal Ectasia: If the corneal stroma is thinned too much during your procedure, it can result in ectasia, a bulging and thinning of the cornea.
  • Regression: In some cases, patients may experience a reversal of the corrections made by PRK. This can be due to the regeneration of new cells as the cornea heals.
  • Loss of Clarity: Following PRK, there is always a small chance you will not see as clearly as you would have with eyewear, such as contacts or glasses.
  • Corneal Ulcers: Although rare, the development of corneal ulcers can occur following PRK. This condition is the result of irritation and inflammation in the outermost layer of the eye.
  • Astigmatism: Corneal asymmetry can occur as a result of healing complications or a modification error during the procedure. Astigmatism can affect your ability to properly focus.
  • Increased Intraocular Pressure: Pressure inside the eye is referred to as intraocular pressure (IOP). When the IOP becomes too high, the optic nerve can become damaged, resulting in partial or total vision loss.

How Can I Address These Complications?

If complications do arise following PRK, your doctor may recommend:

  • Corrective Eyewear: Glasses or contact lenses can be worn post-operatively to improve your vision.
  • LASIK: In some cases, patients may be able to undergo LASIK to address issues of regression, overcorrection, or undercorrection.
  • Mitomycin C: This prescription medication can help reduce symptoms of regression.
  • Antibiotic Treatment: In the event of infections or corneal ulcers, antibiotics can be taken to reduce the risk of damage.

Choose Unparalleled Skill and Expertise

While the risk of complications is always present, most of these issues can be avoided by choosing a skilled and experienced vision correction provider. For over a decade, TLC Yonge Eglinton Laser Eye Centre has provided exceptional care and laser vision correction services to our community. Our surgeons focus solely on laser vision correction, and make a daily commitment to stay at the forefront of their field.

Our surgeons perform thorough evaluations for candidacy, carefully assessing each patient, which minimizes the risk of complications.

Our surgeons perform thorough evaluations for candidacy, carefully assessing each patient. Certain conditions, such as keratoconus or autoimmune diseases, may disqualify you from PRK treatment. During your initial consultation, your medical history will be discussed at length. This will help safeguard against any complications and give you the best chance of predictable and successful treatment.

Schedule an Appointment with Us Today

If you are interested in learning more about PRK or other laser vision corrective procedures, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. We can help you better understand your options, and recommend a solution that will safely meet your goals. You can contact the practice online, or call us at (866) 684-2020.