Overview

What Is Advanced Surface Ablation Photorefractive Keratectomy?

What Is Advanced Surface Ablation Photorefractive Keratectomy?

Advanced surface ablation photorefractive keratectomy (sometimes just called "advanced surface ablation") is one type of PRK surgery. PRK is very similar to LASIK surgery, except that no flap is created inside your eye.

Advanced surface ablation photorefractive keratectomy uses an Excimer laser to gently reshape the surface of your cornea at the most anterior portion of your cornea stroma. Changing the shape of your cornea improves your vision so you don't need to wear glasses or contacts.

What Happens During PRK Surgery?

During advanced surface ablation photorefractive keratectomy, your surgeon will first put anesthetic eye drops in your eye so you don't feel any pain or discomfort.

Next, your surgeon will gently place an alcohol-based solution to the surface of your eye to loosen the surface cells. Your surgeon will then gently remove the outer surface of your cornea (epithelium) before correcting its shape.

Your surgeon will use an Excimer laser to reshape your cornea so you no longer need corrective lenses. Right after your procedure, your surgeon will place a soft contact lens on your eye. This contact lens protects your eye by acting like a bandage.

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PRK Recovery

The patient goes home with a soft contact lens bandage over the eye for three to five days. Visual recovery with PRK is about one to three weeks. Statistical outcomes for PRK are equivalent to LASIK outcome statistics.

Pros & Cons for Advanced Surface Ablation Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Who Can Get PRK?

Most patients who are eligible for LASIK can have PRK. This technique may be preferred for patients with thinner corneas or severe dry eyes.

Pros

  • Those patients who may not be eligible for LASIK may be a candidate for PRK.
  • PRK eases dry eyes.
  • No flap is created during the procedure.
  • PRK is a very predictable and stabile procedure.

Cons

  • Patients may have episodes of moderate discomfort/pain for one to four days after surgery.
  • Patients usually do not achieve optimal vision for several weeks.
  • There is more healing response, though a low risk of developing scarring or unsmooth surface, which will typically will resolve in a few months.