PRK Laser Surgery
Also known as Photorefractive Keratectomy
PRK (Photo Refractive Surgery) is a type of Laser Vision Correction. PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and is precursor to the LASIK procedure. Both PRK and LASIK use the same excimer laser to correct vision. The main difference between the two is the first step of the procedure. In LASIK a flap is created with either a laser or blade and lifted prior to initiating the laser. In PRK the outer (epithelial) layer is removed and discarded prior to the laser. The epithelium usually grows back within a few days after surgery.
The final visual outcome of PRK and LASIK are similar but it does take longer to the vision to clear up after PRK. There are however some distinct advantages of PRK over LASIK. PRK patients have none of complications associated with the creation of the flap and more of the corneal tissue is preserved afterwards. This is especially important in younger patients, people with a thin cornea and high prescriptions.
While LASIK is the more well known procedure for vision improvement, PRK may be a superior procedure in certain conditions.
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