What is PRK?
Custom surface PRK, also known as Surface Treatment or Surface Ablation, is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct myopia (shortsightedness), hyperopia (longsightedness) and astigmatism. It was the first type of laser surgery for vision correction and the forerunner to LASIK. We sometimes use PRK as an alternative to LASIK for people who have very thin or flat corneas.
Procedure time: About 10 minutes per eye.
How does PRK work?
The surgeon removes the cornea’s thin outer layer (called the epithelium) and then reshapes the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. By removing tiny amounts of tissue from the surface of the eye, your surgeon can correct your vision. The main difference between the PRK and LASIK procedure is the first step of the procedures.
In LASIK, the surgeon creates a thin flap on the cornea with a femtosecond laser. The surgeon then lifts the flap to reveal the underlying corneal tissue and then replaces it once they have reshaped the cornea with the excimer laser.
Healing times are generally a little longer for PRK than for LASIK surgery because the cornea’s outer layer needs to grow back again. It usually repairs itself and grows back within a few days. A protective lens is placed over the eye after surgery to help the healing process. The surgeon will leave the lens in place for the first 3-4 days. We will arrange an appointment with you for the removal of the contact lens.
Following this, we will arrange subsequent appointments at 1-2 weeks and 1-3 months post-PRK.
Don’t worry if you live outside of Auckland; we can arrange these visits with your optometrist on your return home.