PRK means Photorefractive Keratectomy and is a surgical procedure that involves the remodelling of the corneal surface with the purpose of erasing refractive defects such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The technique involves the removal of the epithelial tissue of the corneal surface, and afterwards, the remodelling of the superficial cornea by means of excimer laser. PRK laser photorefractive keratectomy is advised to correct visual impairments such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism of minor, medium and, rarely, high degree.

PRK technique advantages

  • Easy and fast procedure
  • Enables to save the eye’s ability of focusing things at different distances
  • Really good predictability of results
  • Surface anesthesia (eye drops)
  • Affordable
  • Permanent correction of the visual impairment
  • Bandage free
  • It does not require needles, knives or scalpels of any kind

What to do before a PRK operation

  • Suspend the use of contact lenses for the 4 weeks before surgery
  • Don’t put make-up near the peril-ocular part, for at least two days
  • Come without any kind of make-up, cream or perfume
  • Use the eye drops that the ophthalmologist prescribed for you
  • Come with someone else to help you because you will not be able to drive any kind of vehicle

What to do after a PRK operation

  • For 4-5 days the patient will wear special contact lens
  • Keep the eye closed to ease the initial burning sensation, the discomfort caused by the light, intense tearing and “sand” sensation, for 2 days more if the discomfort persists, in order to facilitate the recovery
  • Use the eye drops that the ophthalmologist prescribed for you
  • Use clean and disinfected sunglasses during the first few months after surgery
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • For the first 6 days do not put on any kind of make-up and do not use shampoo
  • It is not recommended to drive or work during the first 3 days after the operation
  • After the removal of the special contact lens, it is possible to restart normal activities
  • During the first month after the operation, avoid the beach, swimming-pool, mountain, and dusty, smoky environments or where irritating and volatile substances are used
  • Visit the ophthalmologist the day after surgery, 4 days after, 1 month after and 6 months after

How much time does it take to return to everyday life after the operation with PRK technique?
The patient, according to the situation, is on average able to see in a satisfactory manner from the 5th day after the operation. The recovery of the sight is gradual and during the first month there will be changes of visual acuity. In the first few weeks, with close-up and night sight, the patient could see halos close to the sources of light.

Am I eligible for PRK?
PRK is an extremely safe, tested, and efficient laser technique, currently used by many surgeons. However, it involves postoperative pain (the intensity of it varies from patient to patient, but is manageable with analgesics) for about 24-36 hours and presents a slower visual recovery. It is important, however, to carry out ophthalmologic control and specific diagnostic tests indicated by the ophthalmologist to ensure the suitability of the patient for this kind of operation.

Preconditions for PRK

  • Older than 18 years old
  • A steady refractive error (no major change over the last year)
  • Myopia dioptres between -1.00 and -12.00
  • Corneal anomalies not suitable for LASIK surgery
  • Pupils dimension > 6 mm
  • No moderate-serious dry eye sensation, ocular irregularity, cataract, allergies, degenerative and auto-immune diseases.

PRK is contraindicated in case of collagen vascular diseases that can cause, for example, corneal ulceration, eye diseases such as glaucoma or keratoconus, or systemic diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or granular corneal dystrophy type 2, and in case of the use of steroids. It is possible to approximately foresee the visual correction achievable because the organic variability of the cornea and its recovery affects the visual result, regardless of the precision of the ophthalmologist’s hand and the treatment. After the treatment, it may still be necessary to wear corrective lenses and carry out surgical operations after PRK laser keratectomy to get closer to the desired outcome. PRK laser keratectomy does not erase anatomical and functional anomalies linked to the treated vision problem.

LASEK is a variation of PRK, and is always a surface technique but where the removed epithelial is not erased, but replaced. The results and clinical course do not differ much from PRK’s and the surgeon decides for each case the best technique to use, step by step.

Vista Vision clinics are leaders in the innovation of laser technology, and make use of the state-of-the-art Technolas 217-Z100, 217 P, Teneo 317 excimer lasers to guarantee excellent results in refractive surgery for the correction of visual impairments such as myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia, the last treated only if combined with hyperopia and through Teneo 317 lasers.