Like LASIK, PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) uses a cold pulsing Excimer laser to reshape the cornea. However, rather than creating a flap, PRK removes the surface cells of the cornea itself. Because all adjustments are made on the surface of the eye, the whole procedure is entirely bladeless and doesn't require the creation of flaps. PRK is a good option for low and moderate corrections. The return of vision is not as fast with PRK as with LASIK, yet long-term visual outcomes are typically equal. Occasionally, PRK can even be a better option than LASIK, depending on the characteristics of your eye.
When a patient seeks a consultation for night vision problems, our board-eligible ophthalmologist surgeon, Dr. Brandon Baartman, may recommend PRK. When the cornea has become too thin for certain laser correction surgeries or unresponsive to other less invasive treatments to correct vision problems (like halos), we can offer PRK with topography. Results of a PRK procedure are very similar to LASIK vision correction surgeries.
In the hopes of addressing this unique vision need for the long-term, topography-guided PRK will allow Dr. Baartman to perform this procedure by following a precise mapping of your eye. Vance Thompson Vision in Omaha, NE is focused on offering state-of-the-art technologies as soon as they are available. Especially now that eye mapping has evolved into the digital realm, a computerized corneal mapping is an outstanding example of a successful technological advancement that we love to pass along to our patients. If you would like to learn more about PRK, we invite you to have a free consultation with us at Vance Thompson Vision.
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During your pre-operative consultation at Vance Thompson Vision, our doctors will recommend that you consider either a conventional PRK correction or a custom PRK correction. The difference between the two procedures involves the amount of unique visual irregularities that are present in your cornea and lens. We are here to listen to your concerns, talk about what has not worked in the past, and come up with a solution together that will best meet the criteria for your needs.
Custom PRK can also correct irregularities that cannot be addressed by glasses, contact lenses or conventional laser surgery like LASIK. These distortions, called "aberrations," are classified as lower-order aberrations or higher-order aberrations. Lower-order aberrations including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are responsible for approximately 90% of your blurred vision, which also makes qualifies you for this procedure. Higher-order aberrations account for the remaining blur and affect the clarity of your vision, especially in low-light situations. Our custom PRK technology uses highly sophisticated instrumentation to generate a structural map (topography) of both your lower and higher-order aberrations. Then, our laser radar tracking device follows the eye to guide the laser to precisely reshape your cornea.
In preparation for surgery, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. Once your eye is numb, our surgeon will place an eyelid holder to prevent blinking. The surgeon will gently remove the thin layer of the surface of the cornea and use an Excimer laser to reshape your cornea, according to specific calculations determined at your pre-operative exam. Within seconds, millions of laser pulses will reshape your cornea to correct the specific refractive error. Afterward, a protective bandage contact lens is placed on each eye to provide added comfort as your epithelium grows back and you recover. During this period you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity.
What to Expect
A temporary contact lens will minimize discomfort and act as protection for the eyes following the procedure. You may suffer moderate discomfort for 3 – 4 days and light sensitivity may continue for 4 – 6 weeks. You can expect to resume driving and working around 4 – 5 days after surgery, though it is not uncommon for those with astigmatism or farsightedness to need longer time to recover. Most patients report full recovery and optimum results after 1 – 3 months, with vision improvement continuing up to the six-month post surgery mark. After PRK, you will not need glasses or contacts for most of your daily activities, but your vision can change over time. This is due to normal age progression and not the failure of the procedure.
- Recovery Time
- 1 week - 1 month
- Procedure Time
- 20 minutes
- Follow Up Time
- 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month
- Recovery Location
see Life More Clearly
Our team of eye specialists at Vance Thompson Vision in Omaha, NE believes that you deserve to see the beauty of life with clarity, and that includes at night! We offer a number of FDA-approved laser vision correction procedures that have shown great success in restoring and improving the sight of patients with impaired vision. To find out more about PRK or to learn about our laser vision correction options, we invite you to contact our office today. Our staff looks forward to setting up your consultation with Dr. Baartman to determine if PRK is right for you.