Exploring the Risks and Benefits of PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

By on December 29, 2010

PRK, which stands for photorefractive keratectomy, is a laser vision correction procedure that was approved for use in the United States in 1995. PRK was the first corrective eye surgery to rely on a laser rather than a blade to alter the shape of the cornea; it was the most commonly used refractive surgery available prior to the introduction of LASIK surgery.

Today, PRK is still a popular procedure and remains an effective alternative to LASIK vision correction. The surgery is performed with an excimer laser, which is used to remove small amounts of tissue from the eye to steepen or flatten the shape of the cornea.

PRK Benefits and Risks

The primary benefit of PRK is that it can significantly improve the vision of people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic, and reduce dependence on glasses and other corrective eyewear. Because PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap, it is ideal for people with thin or damaged corneas. No incisions are required during PRK surgery, which reduces the risk of infection and inflammation.

Like any other surgical procedure, PRK does have its risks. Some of the potential complications and risks associated with PRK include dry eye, sensitivity to light, halos, glare, and corneal haze. There is always a risk that vision will be over or under corrected during surgery. In fact, a very small percentage of PRK patients will still need to wear glasses following surgery.

It is important to weigh both the risks and benefits of PRK and other vision correction procedures carefully. To learn more about laser vision correction surgery, consult a Virgin Islands PRK specialist or Virgin Islands LASIK surgeon at the Laser Vision Institute of the Virgin Islands. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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