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 removed with a scalpel, a special brush, the laser itself, or alcohol. This less than perfect procedure resulted, in turn, in less than perfect vision. PRK in its original form is no longer the only option for patients with eye problems. In Epi-LASIK the epithelial cells are precisely removed with an epi-keratome and 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. Epi-LASIK is generally slightly less comfortable than LASIK and takes slightly longer to heal than LASIK, but Epi-LASIK potentially gives better quality vision than LASIK because the cornea is not cut open in the former.
With the introduction of LASIK and Epi-LASIK, procedures are quicker, healing is faster and results are phenomenal. On the other side of the coin, however, the side effects of PRK and Epi-LASIK are still lower than those of LASIK. One reason is that they do not include the flap that is created in the cornea during LASIK, which weakens the cornea.
In fact, PRK, (especially its advanced version Epi-LASIK) is still the best way to deal with eye 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-type procedure: Epi-LASIK.
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