PhotoRefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is the original form of laser eye surgery, having been performed in Australia since 1991 with the development of the excimer laser. PRK is versatile, safe and often fallback procedure when other laser eye surgery methods are not possible. It is also cost-effective and, with the newer TransPRK treatment, is the only procedure which is completely touch-free.
Many people opt for newer procedures such as LASIK and SMILE mostly due to their faster recovery times. Although, when researching your laser eye surgery options, PRK should not be discounted. And, if PRK is the only treatment available to you, be confident with the knowledge that it carries a number of benefits over other procedures.
The top 5 benefits of PRK include:
1. PRK is ideal for people with thin corneas
PRK is sometimes the only laser eye surgery option available for a particular patient. If you have thin corneas, SMILE and LASIK may not be possible. PRK also corrects all forms of refractive errors including short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism whereas SMILE cannot currently treat long-sightedness (difficulty seeing things up close).
2. PRK is suited for people playing contact sports and with physical professions
PRK does not create an incision in the cornea therefore creating less structural damage. This means it is suited for people competing in contact sports or those with physically demanding professions such as the military. The LASIK procedure creates a corneal ‘flap’ which carries a risk of becoming detached from a significant blow to the head.
3. PRK provides a lower risk of dry eye or infection
Due to the less invasive nature of PRK, it carries a lower chance of infection and also does not disrupt the natural irrigation of the eye. This creates a lower risk of experiencing dry eye which can occur most noticeably with LASIK.
4. TransPRK offers the only touch-free procedure
Prior to TransPRK (Transepithelial PRK), all laser eye surgery procedures required an instrument of some description coming into contact with the eye. TransPRK follows the same process as the regular PRK procedure, although by using the SCWIND AMARIS 750 laser there is no need for suction, blades or alcohol touching the eye. This means it is safer and gentler on the eye.
5. PRK is the most cost-effective
PRK laser eye surgery is generally cheaper than the other laser eye surgery methods. This is mainly due to PRK being the original and most commonly available procedure by simply demand and supply economics. The longer recovery times with PRK often means people opt for LASIK or SMILE although the same eventual quality of vision that can be achieved is equal.
Many people opt for PRK Laser eye surgery based on price or medical advice that it is the only procedure suited to their lifestyle, career or budget. If PRK is the eventual treatment you choose, you can be confident that it will give you similar visual outcomes at a lower cost with a little bit more time to put your feet up in recovery.
Envision Eye Centre offers all forms of laser eye surgery including TransPRK. We provide all patients seeking laser eye surgery with a free assessment, so they know their options prior to surgery. We carefully explain the procedure and help you determine which is right option for you and your vision.