What is Photorefractive Keratectomy?


Photorefractive keratectomy is a type of laser eye surgery, that is used to treat refractive errors, Nearsightedness (myopia), Farsightedness (hyperopia), and Astigmatism) with an excimer laser (A computer-generated, cold laser beam), used to precisely remove and sculpt corneal tissue at the microscopic level). This treatment aims to reduce an individual's dependency on glasses and contact lenses.

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Procedure of PRK


The steps involved in PRK eye surgery (reshaping of the cornea through an excimer laser to correct refractive mistakes like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism). 

The steps of the PRK vision surgery are as follows:


  1. Pre-Operative Preparation - Before performing PRK surgery, each patient is carefully examined by an ophthalmologist or refractive surgeon to ensure that they are a suitable candidate for his treatment. Such examination includes: 

     The corneal health, size of the pupil, and measurement of refractive. 
    Medical History of any previous ophthalmic disorders, past surgical procedures, medications, and systemic diseases to evaluate eligibility for surgery. 

  2. Then, the surgeon gives you anesthesia with eye drops on the day of surgery to make the procedure completely painless. Some doctors may also use a mild sedative to relax the patient.

  3. Epithelial Removal- The epithelium has to be removed; this is the outer layer of the cornea exposing the underlying corneal tissue. There are two common ways of removing the epithelium in PRK: alcohol solution and mechanical brush.

  4. Laser Reshaping- After the epithelium is removed, an excimer laser is used to reconfigure the curvature of the cornea based on the patient's precise measurements for refractive error. The high precision of the excimer laser ensures minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

  5. Immediately after the laser treatment, a temporary soft contact lens or a bandage, much like a therapeutic soft contact lens, is placed over the treated eye, which helps protect the healing cornea and offers comfort. Usually, the bandage contact lens is used for some days until the growth of the epithelium.

  6. Post-Operative Care - Patients are instructed on postoperative care instructions after PRK eye operation; these include:
    Use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. Avoid activities like rubbing the eyes. Follow-up appointments with the eye surgeons to monitor healing progress and improvement in visual acuity.

Advantages of PRK Treatments

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) offers several advantages as a surgical procedure for correcting refractive errors of the eye, compared to other methods like LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis). Here are the key advantages of PRK:

  • No flap is created within the cornea during PRK, so the problems associated with creating a flap are avoided.
  • This procedure is highly recommended in those patients who have thin corneas or have an improper shape to the cornea for LASIK to be done.
  • This helps preserve the strength of the cornea by preventing the creation of flaps and works best for those people who are at risk of having a potential eye trauma.
  • No risk of complications related to the flap: Flap dislocation or its inflammation under the flap is avoided.
  • Stable results in the long run: Results related to the correction of vision are predictable and stable over long periods.
  • Less Risk of Dry Eye Syndrome: Probably less than LASIK, since more of the corneal nerves responsible for tear production will be preserved.
  • It is suitable for most patients with various types and degrees of refractive errors.
  • This is safer for patients who have certain medical conditions or risky occupations where flap-related complications may become an issue.
  • No Risk of Flap-Related Trauma: Because no flap is made, eliminates risks of flap displacement or dislodging.

Conditions treated by PRK


PRK is mainly indicated for the treatment of refractive mistakes of the eye, actually not diseases but conditions that alter the way light focuses on the retina. 

The following are specific refractive errors that PRK can treat effectively:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness): PRK works by flattening the cornea to correct myopia so that light focuses correctly on the retina rather than in front of it.
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness): PRK steepens the cornea, which shifts the focus of light onto the retina.
  • Astigmatism: PRK reshapes irregularly curved corneas into a spherical configuration to sharpen the focusing of light onto the retina.

Other than these refractive errors, PRK does not indicate or treat eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal disorders. For this reason, any person who would like to do PRK should have a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist or refractive surgeon to assess, depending on the extent of the refractive error and general eye health, whether they qualify for this procedure.


Treatments for PRK Surgery

Why choose ASG for PRK Treatment?

There are many underlying reasons behind choosing ASG Eye Hospital when it comes to PRK treatment. ASG is one of the best PRK eye surgery hospitals in India. With supreme specialized expertise and highly experienced ophthalmologists, they undertake fine pre-operative assessments for evaluating candidature for PRK with personalized treatment plans. The hospital's commitment to patient care can be seen through very stringent quality assurance standards and stress on post-operative care. With a credible reputation for good patient results, ASG Eye Hospital is one of the most sought-after places if somebody intends to search for effective PRK treatment.



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Frequently Asked Questions

PRK is a laser eye surgery used to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea.

PRK involves removing the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) before reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser. LASIK creates a flap in the cornea to access the underlying tissue.

PRK is performed under local anesthesia. After removing the epithelium, the excimer laser reshapes the cornea based on precise measurements. The procedure is quick, lasting about 15 minutes per eye.

Discomfort during PRK is minimal and managed with numbing eye drops. After surgery, patients may experience mild discomfort, which subsides as the eye heals.

The epithelium regenerates over several days to a week. During this time, vision may be blurry, and light sensitivity and mild discomfort are common. Full visual recovery can take several weeks to months.

Risks include dry eyes, glare or halos, infection, and under- or over-correction of vision. These are minimized with careful patient selection and adherence to post-operative care.

Many patients achieve a significant reduction in their need for corrective eyewear. Some achieve 20/20 vision or better, while others may still require glasses for certain activities.
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