Our ophthalmologists are all too aware of the discouragement patients can feel when they are told they are not eligible for LASIK, which is why we offer several corrective surgery options, including PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). This procedure uses advanced laser technology to correct vision impairments and reduce the dependency on glasses or contact lenses. PRK can be an ideal option for patients who don't have ample corneal tissue to undergo LASIK. Although it has a longer recovery period than LASIK, PRK has fewer complications and in many cases, it offers longer-lasting results. If you are tired of wearing glassing or expensive contacts, reach out to Baton Rouge Eye Physicians to learn more about PRK. We'll be happy to help answer all your questions and can perform a full consultation at our office in Baton Rouge, LA to see if you are a good candidate for corrective laser surgery.
What are the benefits of PRK?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. PRK is a great alternative since it does not require creating a flap in the cornea. Our team at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians always puts the safety of patients first, which is why we may recommend PRK over LASIK for some people. Our ophthalmologists are proud to provide long-term results through this innovative procedure. PRK has a few advantages over LASIK, including:
- Reduced risk of complications
- No need for a corneal flap, which can sometimes become dislodged
- Ideal for patients with thin corneal tissue
Am I A Candidate For PRK?
The best candidates for PRK are women and men who have refractive errors and want to reduce their reliance on glasses and contact lenses. Candidates for PRK are people who:
- Are tired of wearing glasses and contacts
- Have thinner corneas and do not qualify for LASIK
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have a stable vision prescription (at least one year)
- Want long-lasting, effective results
- Have not had an eye injury or infection in the last year
- Do not have dry eye syndrome
- Do not have keratoconus issues
- Do not have glaucoma or other eye issues
- Are not pregnant or nursing
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how is prk performed?
PRK is an outpatient procedure that takes about ten minutes to perform. Once the eye is numb, a suction device will be positioned around the eye to prevent movement. PRK surgery mirrors LASIK for the first few steps. The primary difference in the PRK technique is that no corneal flap is required. Instead, the outermost layer of the eye (epithelium) is removed to reshape the cornea. Afterward, a protective contact lens will be placed to shield the eye as it heals. The epithelium generally grows back in 1 – 2 weeks so the full recovery process is a bit longer than with other laser vision correction surgery techniques.
Following any laser refractive procedure, including PRK, we need our patients to visit Baton Rouge Eye Physicians for a few follow-up appointments to monitor their healing progress. The majority of individuals need to keep wearing their specialized contact lenses for 2 – 3 weeks. However, as soon as the eyes are fully healed, the acuity results will be as good as or even exceed those of other laser refractive surgeries. Typically, patients can get back to their jobs and operating a vehicle in about a week and enjoy their complete vision improvement within 1 – 3 months.
What Should I Expect After A PRK Procedure?
Following any laser vision correction surgery, like LASIK or PRK, we ask our patients to visit Baton Rouge Eye Physicians for a few follow-ups. The first one is usually the next day. These visits are vital so that we can keep track of each patient's recovery process, look for any unexpected reactions, and help take care of any potential discomfort. When compared to other laser refractive surgeries, PRK does have a longer recovery period and a slightly higher level of discomfort, such as photophobia (light sensitivity), grittiness sensations in the eye, and intense dry eye. Most individuals need to use their specialized bandage contact lenses for a few weeks. Despite this, as soon as the eyes are completely healed, the acuity outcomes will be as good as or even exceed those of LASIK. Most patients are able to get back to work and driving within 7 – 10 days and experience their full vision correction in about 1 – 3 months.
Is PRK better than LASIK?
For some patients, PRK may be the better option over LASIK. For patients with severe dry eyes or thin corneas, PRK may be a more ideal option. During your comprehensive consultation at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians, our eye care professionals will discuss which procedure is better for you to fully correct your vision.
How long do the results of PRK last?
The results from a PRK procedure do not lessen over time. Once you are fully healed, you should experience optimal vision. However, as you get older, you may need reading glasses due to the natural aging process of the eyes.
Can PRK correct astigmatism?
PRK can be effective for patients with astigmatism. In some cases, patients with severe astigmatism may be better candidates for PRK than for LASIK. Talk with a member of our team about which vision correction procedure is best for you.
What should I not do after PRK?
Following your PRK treatment, you will be advised to avoid full-impact or high-intensity activities for around 2 — 4 weeks. If you must return to sports, we recommend wearing goggles to keep your eyes safe. In addition, avoid activities that can get foreign bodies into the eyes, such as gardening, swimming, or dusting.
Is there anything I shouldn't do before my procedure?
The day of your PRK procedure, we recommend not wearing any heavy scents like perfume or lotions. You may want to wash your hair as it will be a while before you can get your head wet again. Your provider will work with you after your procedure to know when you are healed enough to continue with normal activities such as showering and exercise.
Dependable Vision Correction
PRK has helped countless men and women around the world to achieve clearer vision. For individuals who were previously informed they weren't good candidates for LASIK, PRK may be the optimal solution. At Baton Rouge Eye Physicians, our experienced team has proudly delivered 20/20 vision to many Baton Rouge, LA patients. To learn more about PRK, contact our clinic to set up an appointment with one of our seasoned eye specialists.