PRK was the original laser procedure approved by the FDA for vision correction. To restore vision and rectify eye conditions like presbyopia and astigmatism, or even commonplace deficiencies like far-sightedness and near-sightedness, several years ago your only option was PRK. Today’s LASIK and Epi-LASIK are spin-offs which use the same basic principle.
PRK Laser Procedures in Hamden and New Haven, CT
All of the Laser Vision Correction procedures are brief and offer minimal discomfort. However, PRK may be slightly less comfortable than other procedures offered. Dr. Gold’s patients in New Haven, Hamden and nearby communities receive Valium before any procedure to achieve mild sedation and to help fall asleep after arriving home.
There is also a slightly longer healing time required with PRK. In the past, the FDA only allowed one eye to be operated at a time, and a period of 30 days had to lapse before the second eye could be operated. Dr. Gold said he was sometimes surprised that anyone came back for the second eye after experiencing pain with the first one. With modern PRK and with modern pain prevention medications and techniques significant pain is a thing of the past.
PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy, during which the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is gently removed with alcohol. The laser treatment is applied to the second layer of the cornea to change its shape and thereby its focal point. At the end of the procedure a bandage contact lens is placed by Dr. Gold, which remains for several days while the epithelium regrows. During this time, patients do not deal with the contact lenses; only Dr. Gold does. PRK is generally slightly less comfortable than LASIK and takes slightly longer to heal than LASIK, but PRK potentially gives better quality vision than LASIK because the cornea is not cut open.
In fact, PRK is still the best way to deal with vision problems if you have a thin cornea which cannot be safely treated with LASIK. Unlike in the old days, patients can have both eyes operated on at the same time. Therefore, patients with corneas too thin for LASIK now have the option of being treated with a more streamlined and efficient PRK procedure.
About PRK Surgery
A typical PRK procedure normally takes around four minutes to perform per each eye. And, in contrast to the PRK procedure available in those early days, the modern day procedure does not hurt at all.