Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is the world’s first laser surgery that is suitable for patients with thin corneas and other structural features of the eye. This method of treatment has been used since 1985. This procedure is carried out only on the outer layers of the cornea, which allows it not to affect the internal structure of the eye.
Previously, the method of radical keratectomy was used to treat vision, which involved the application of notches during surgery. This problem has been fixed in PRK. During PRK eye surgery the laser vaporizes tissue from the surface and reshapes the cornea. PRK is distinguished by high accuracy, as well as high predictability of the final results. This allows you to make the operation safer by reducing the number of possible side effects.
However, in the past, this procedure had certain disadvantages. For example, the operation could only be performed on one eye. In order to make a correction of the second eye, it was necessary to wait a few weeks. Also, the first period after the operation was very unpleasant for the patient. The surface layer was restored for a long time, namely 2-4 days. This period was characterized by strong unpleasant sensations. Fully adaptation ended only after a month. At the moment, this method of correction has been modified. The technology of the procedure itself has been slightly changed, thanks to which it is now possible to perform the operation on both eyes. Also, the postoperative period has become more gentle due to the fact that today, after such laser surgery, a special lens is used that protects the eyes and shortens the recovery period. However, compared to LASIK eye surgery, PRK is still characterized by a longer recovery period and more unpleasant pain after surgery. And all because in the PRK method, the necessary areas of the cornea are evaporated by the laser, and this is a rather serious burn for the eye. Therefore, healing takes longer. But the cost of PRK eye surgery correction is less and ranges from $1800 to $2800 per eye versus $2200-3200 per eye for LASIK.
· Myopia: -1D to -6D
· Hyperopia: up to +3D
· Astigmatism: -0.5D to -3D
There are also professional and social recommendations for the procedure.
· Professional: These are situations related to the professional activities of a person – with his work, that is, when he is not recommended to wear contact lenses and glasses, due to certain conditions. For example, when working in the chemical industry.
· Social: This is the patient’s personal desire to have vision surgery. In this case, the patient should be familiar with other methods of correction, as well as informed about all possible complications and contraindications.
Before PRK laser eye surgery, the patient must undergo a medical examination. To do this, you need to contact an ophthalmologist. He will carefully examine the person’s eyes, the history of his diseases and collect all the data necessary for the operation. Thanks to the examination, the doctor will be able to understand which of the methods of laser surgery will be optimal, identify all unwanted diseases and give recommendations to the patient. A trip to the doctor will be accompanied by a complete check of the eye optics, a study of the optical power of the cornea, and an ultrasound measurement of all parameters of the eye. After completing all the stages of the examination, the doctor will tell you if you can do the operation. It is possible that you will have to wait for the procedure or completely abandon it.
You will have to postpone eye surgery using the PRK method in cases where you have relative contraindications, and completely abandon it if the contraindications are absolute.
Let’s look at each of the options.
· Insufficient age of the patient. Namely, when a person has not reached the age of 18. This happens because the eyeball at this age is not yet fully formed, which is characterized by the variability of vision. And for the operation, vision should not change at least during the last 2 years. They may also not allow people who are over 40 years old to the procedure because they have an increased risk of certain complications. However, the procedure is possible if the surgeon has the necessary qualifications and the patient has suitable indications for laser surgery.
· The presence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This can cause incorrect recovery of the cornea after surgery.
· Common infectious diseases and acute eye infections.
· Systemic diseases. They interfere with wound healing. Therefore, after surgery, the cornea may have problems with recovery.
· Pregnancy and breastfeeding period. The thing is that due to pregnancy, hormonal changes can appear, which in turn affect vision. Therefore, you should not do the operation until the hormones return to normal, and this may take some time. Also, laser surgery should not be done during this period because a woman may suffer from dry eye syndrome during pregnancy. Also, drugs prescribed by a doctor after the procedure can adversely affect the health of the child.
· Progressive myopia
· Allergic reactions. The patient, due to allergies, may take certain medications that adversely affect the recovery of the eyes after damage.
· High degree dry eye syndrome. PRK can aggravate this condition, which will negatively affect the health of the patient. However, sometimes the eye returns to normal after surgery, so the final decision in this case will be made by an ophthalmologist.
· Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and other autoimmune diseases that can reduce the body’s ability to repair and heal wounds
· Continuous use of medications due to the patient’s health condition, which may have a negative effect on the eyes
· Progressive cataract with a significant decrease in the quality of vision
· Non-operable retinal detachment
· Single eye
· Pathologies that make the cornea very thin. In this case, laser correction can cause uncontrolled visual impairment. In this case, vision will have to be restored with the help of additional surgical interventions.
PRK laser eye surgery is a vision restoration method that is suitable for most patients. However, if you have the symptoms listed above, you may have to postpone or refuse surgery. Because if you do not do this, the risk of dangerous consequences and complications will be very high, and this can negate the benefits of the procedure. The main thing is to scrupulously approach this issue and take into account all the nuances. In this case, if you perform the operation, it will be successful, and the result will please you for a very long time.