PRK – photorefractive keratectomy

What is PRK?

Most people have heard of LASIK, a procedure that uses a laser to safely and permanently eliminate your need for glasses and contact lenses. LASIK is extremely popular because of the speed of recovery and the ability of people to return to work the day after the procedure.

Although most people who wear glasses are good candidates for LASIK, some patients may be better suited to a modified laser vision correction procedure known as PRK. During your free consultation, Dr. Alexandra Chebil will examine your eyes and tell you which procedure is recommended for you.

Patients may be better suited for PRK than LASIK if they have:

  • Thinner than average corneas
  • A very high prescription
  • Irregularities or scars on the surface of their eyes
  • Had previous eye surgery including LASIK, PRK, RK, Cataract removal with lens implants
  • High eye pressure or early stages of retinal problems.
  • Job requirements involving danger of eye trauma such as professional boxers, divers or certain military operations.

PRK is similar to LASIK in that an excimer laser is used to reshape the surface of your eyes. LASIK involves the creation of a thin flap of tissue using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser (all-laser LASIK ). The excimer laser is then used to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and age-related reading problems.

PRK corrects for nearsightedness, farsightedness astigmatism, and age-related reading problems, however there is no flap created before the laser reshaping procedure. During the PRK procedure, Dr. Alexandra Chebil gently removes a very thin layer from the surface of the cornea. The Star S-4 CustomVue Wavefront laser then reshapes the cornea just as with LASIK. Dr. Alexandra will then place protective contact lenses over the cornea for protection. The contact lens must stay in place until the surface has healed, usually between three to five days. You will be able to see after the procedure, although usually not well enough to drive for the first few days. Dr. Alexandra will personally remove the contact lenses on the third to fifth day after the PRK procedure.

Advantages to Custom Wavefront PRK:
Better Quality of Vision
The CustomVue technology performed by Dr. Alexandra Chebil can obtain better than 20/20 vision for a large number of patients. This can result in better quality of night vision compared to standard treatments. People with larger pupils are also treatable with this technology which reduces the chance of night time halos and glare. Our unique tracking system with Iris Registration insures that the laser treatment is accurate even if you move during the procedure.

More Accuracy Means Better Results
Custom Wavefront PRK will remove less tissue than LASIK, which means that patients with thinner than average corneas and high prescriptions may be safely treated.

Find out is Custom Wavefront PRK is right at your comprehensive consultation with Dr. Alexandra Chebil.

How do the Results of PRK Compare to LASIK?
Dr. Alexandra Chebil uses the same NASA inspired technology for LSAIK and PRK. The majority of our patients see 20/20 or better after the procedure. Both procedures are considered extremely safe with long term proven results. The main differences between the two procedures are the longer healing time and the number of post-op visits with PRK.

Is PRK Painful?
The PRK procedure is not uncomfortable since strong numbing drops are used. The entire procedure takes less than ten minutes. After PRK you can expect mild to moderate discomfort for the first three to five days. Pain medication will be prescribed to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

PRK FAQ
  • When is PRK recommended?
    Lifestyle requirements: If you participate in contact sports or have a job where eye trauma may occur such as certain military duties.
    Eye conditions: corneas that are too thin for LASIK, excess corneal dryness, very large pupils
    Previous eye surgery, such as RK, LASIK or cataract surgery
  • What is the difference between PRK and LASIK and PRK?
    During PRK no LASIK flap is created before the laser reshapes the cornea.
  • Will reading glasses be necessary after PRK?
    PRK will not make your reading vision any worse than it normally would. Presbyopia is a normal change in the close vision that occurs around age forty. If you already wear reading glasses, then monovision may be an option. Dr. Alexandra Chebil will discuss this with you during your free consultation.
  • How soon can I return to work and sports?
    You can probably return to work and drive around four days after PRK. Avoid dust and dirt for the first month. You can usually swim with your eyes open at one month after PRK.
  • When will I be able to drive after PRK?
    You will need a driver after your procedure. You will most likely be able to drive four days after the PRK treatment.
  • What precautions should I take?
    You will need to wear protective eye shields when sleeping for the first week so you don’t accidentally rub your eyes at night. You will also have drops that you need to use for the first month after PRK. Our staff will explain this during your free consultation.
  • What Follow-Up Care is included?
    Dr. Alexandra Chebil will personally see you at each follow up visit. These will be scheduled at one day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one year.
  • Will glasses or contact lenses still be required after PRK?
    Our goal is to provide permanent correction of your vision. Depending on your visual requirements, glasses may be required for certain situations such as prolonged close vision or certain DMV requirements.
  • What if I had previous eye surgery?
    PRK is an excellent option for many patients who have had previous treatments such as LASIK, PRK, RK, Radial keratotomy or corneal transplants as long as they are otherwise good candidates for laser vision correction.
Consultation

We invite you to come in for a free laser vision correction evaluation to see if PRK is a good option for you. Technology changes rapidly and you may now be a good candidate even if you were not previously able to have the procedure done. Dr. Alexandra Chebil and her dedicated staff will personally perform all the necessary testing to determine which procedure is best for you.

If you wear contact lenses, please remember to bring a case with you, as you will be required to remove your lenses prior to testing. If you forget your case, we will be happy to supply one at no charge.

Your consultation will last approximately one hour.

What we measure:

  • Fingerprint analysis of the surface of your eye using the Wavescan/Wavefront Analyser by VISX AMO
  • Computerized testing of your prescription 100 times more accurately than what we could do in the past.
  • Iris Capture to enable NASA inspired tracking of your eye during the laser procedure
  • Pupil size to obtain the best quality of night vision
  • Corneal topography to determine the presence of astigmatism
  • Eye pressure testing to rule out glaucoma
  • Retinal evaluation