PRK : What is photorefractive keratectomy ?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of refractive eye surgery that is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During PRK surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped surface at the front of the eye. By changing the shape of the cornea, the laser can help light entering the eye to focus more accurately on the retina, which can improve vision.
PRK was one of the first types of laser eye surgery to be developed, and it is still used today, although other procedures such as LASIK are more common. In contrast to LASIK, PRK surgery removes the outer layer of the cornea before applying the laser treatment, eliminating the need for creating a corneal flap. This makes PRK a better option for some people who may not be suitable for LASIK due to factors such as thin corneas. However, PRK can be associated with a longer recovery time and more discomfort compared to LASIK.
Price of the operation PRK
The cost of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the clinic, the experience of the surgeon, and the specific technology used during the procedure. In general, PRK may cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per eye in Tunisia.
It’s important to be aware that PRK may not be covered by insurance since it is typically classified as an elective procedure. However, some insurance plans may offer partial coverage if the surgery is deemed medically necessary, such as for correcting high levels of nearsightedness or astigmatism.
It is recommended to consult with an experienced eye surgeon to discuss the potential costs and financing options for PRK, as well as to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Difference between PRK and Lasik
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) are both types of refractive eye surgery that use lasers to reshape the cornea and improve vision.
Nonetheless, there exist some key distinctions between these two procedures:
- Procedure : In PRK, the surgeon removes the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, before using a laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. In contrast, during LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea using a microkeratome or femtosecond laser. The flap is lifted to expose the underlying cornea, which is then reshaped using a laser. Afterward, the flap is carefully repositioned onto the cornea’s surface ;
- Recovery time : Compared to LASIK, PRK usually requires a longer recovery period. Because the epithelium needs to regrow after PRK, it can take several days or even weeks for the vision to fully stabilize. In contrast, LASIK patients typically experience a much quicker recovery time and can return to normal activities within a few days ;
- Discomfort : Because PRK involves removing the epithelium, it can be more uncomfortable than LASIK. Patients may experience more pain, sensitivity, and tearing during the first few days after surgery. In contrast, LASIK patients typically experience minimal discomfort during and after the procedure ;
- Eligibility : PRK may be a better option for patients with thin corneas, large pupils, or other factors that make LASIK less suitable. Additionally, PRK may be a better option for patients who engage in high-contact sports or occupations, as there is no risk of flap complications ;
- Success rate : Both PRK and LASIK have high success rates for improving vision. However, PRK may have a slightly higher rate of long-term visual stability, as there is no risk of flap complications or other issues that can occur after LASIK ;
Overall, both PRK and LASIK are effective and safe procedures for correcting vision. The choice between the two will depend on the individual patient’s needs and preferences, as well as the recommendations of their eye surgeon.
PRK : what you need to know before the operation
Before undergoing PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery, there are several important things you should know :
- Consultation : You will need to have a thorough consultation with an experienced eye surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for PRK. The surgeon will evaluate your eyes and medical history to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure ;
- Preparation : In the weeks leading up to the surgery, you may need to stop wearing contact lenses and use prescription eye drops to prepare your eyes for the procedure. You should also arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery, as you will not be able to drive immediately afterwards ;
- Procedure : PRK is typically performed using numbing eye drops to minimize discomfort during the procedure. The surgeon will remove the outer layer of the cornea and use a laser to reshape the underlying tissue. The entire procedure typically takes about 10-15 minutes per eye ;
- Recovery : After the procedure, you will need to wear a protective contact lens for several days to help your eye heal. You will also need to use prescription eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. You may experience some discomfort, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision for several days or weeks after the surgery ;
- Follow-up care : You will need to have regular follow-up appointments with your eye surgeon to monitor your healing and ensure that your vision is improving as expected. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments and report any concerns or changes in your vision to your surgeon ;
- Risks : As with any surgery, there are risks associated with PRK, including infection, bleeding, and changes in vision. However, serious complications are rare, and most patients experience significant improvements in their vision after the procedure ;
Overall, PRK can be an effective and safe option for correcting vision. However, it is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits, and to work closely with an experienced eye surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome.
How the PRK operation works ?
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of refractive eye surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea and improve vision.
The procedure typically works as follows:
- Numbing drops : Before the surgery, numbing eye drops are applied to the eye to minimize discomfort during the procedure ;
- Removal of epithelium : The surgeon uses a small instrument or a laser to remove the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium. This allows the laser to access the underlying corneal tissue ;
- Reshaping the cornea : Using an excimer laser, the surgeon precisely reshapes the cornea by removing tiny amounts of tissue. The laser is programmed with a personalized treatment plan that is based on the individual’s specific vision needs ;
- Protective contact lens : After the laser treatment is complete, a soft contact lens is placed over the eye to protect it and promote healing. This contact lens is typically removed by the surgeon after a few days ;
- Follow-up care : After the surgery, the patient will need to attend regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor their healing and ensure that their vision is improving as expected. Eye drops may also be prescribed to prevent infection and reduce inflammation ;
On average, the entire PRK procedure lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. The goal of the procedure is to reshape the cornea in a way that corrects refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, and improves the patient’s vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
After PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery, there is a period of post-operative care and recovery that is essential for a successful outcome.
Here are some things to expect during the post-operative period:
- Protective contact lens : After the surgery, a protective contact lens will be placed over the eye to promote healing and reduce discomfort. This contact lens will need to be worn for several days until the surface of the eye has healed ;
- Eye drops : Prescription eye drops will be prescribed to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. You will need to use these drops as directed by your surgeon.
- Follow-up appointments : You will need to attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing and ensure that your vision is improving as expected. Your surgeon will let you know how frequently you need to come in for follow-up visits ;
- Recovery time : It may take several days or weeks for your vision to fully stabilize after PRK surgery. During this time, you may experience discomfort, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. It is important to rest your eyes and avoid activities that could strain them during this time ;
- Resuming normal activities : You will need to avoid certain activities, such as swimming or using a hot tub, for several weeks after the surgery. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can interfere with the healing process ;
- Possible complications : While serious complications after PRK are rare, it is important to report any changes in your vision or any signs of infection to your surgeon immediately ;
It is important to closely follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to ensure a successful outcome and minimize the risk of complications. With proper care and monitoring, most patients experience significant improvements in their vision after PRK surgery.