PRK

Photorefractive Keratectomy

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a laser procedure for correcting low to moderate amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. PRK is a technique in which the central portion of the outer layer/skin of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed, followed by reshaping or ablation of the underlying corneal stroma using the MEL90 Excimer laser. This can be combined with Corneal Collagen Cross-linking. A bandage contact is placed on the cornea for 4-5 days to allow the epithelium to fully heal.

The Following Refractive Errors Can Be Corrected (Exceptions May Apply):
Myopia (Nearsightedness): Up to -8.00 diopters
Hypermetropia (Farsightedness): Up to +3.00 diopters
Astigmatism: Up to 5.00 diopters

The cornea consists of different layers of tissue. The surface layer, known as the epithelium, is a soft, protective layer that regenerates quickly. Before laser correction, the surgeon removes this outer layer. Within a few days of the surgery, the epithelium regenerates itself, again forming a protective layer over the eye.

The interior part of the cornea, known as the stroma, does not regenerate itself when removed or reshaped.

For the procedure, the eye is numbed/anaesthetized with topical anesthetic drops. To perform PRK, the surgeon programs an Excimer laser to vaporize precise microscopic layers of tissue from the surface of the eye. By modifying the shape of the cornea, light rays can focus correctly within the eye to provide clear vision.

In most cases, only 10-20% of corneal tissue is removed, leaving the structural integrity of the cornea intact. The cool laser beam vaporizes tissue away, one microscopic layer at a time, without burning or cutting. Since the excimer laser light is created at a specified wavelength that does not pass through the cornea, no other part of the eye is affected.

After the corneal tissue has been removed by the Laser, the surgeon places a soft bandage contact lens on the eye to protect it for the first few days of healing.

The laser correction itself usually takes only a few seconds per eye, although the patient is in the surgery suite for about 15-20 minutes.​

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