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Surface PRK Surgery: Benefits

Precision: The laser beam and the mechanical devices used are regulated both by computer and by your surgeon, resulting in a beam which is more predictable than a hand-held surgical knife.

Versatility: The laser in PRK surgery is a versatile instrument that makes possible a variety of surgical patterns for safely correcting refractive errors.

Preservation of corneal strength: There is no measurable weakening of the cornea and no known increased susceptibility to injury following surface PRK.

Efficiency: The actual surgical time is short, 10 to 120 seconds.

Results: Studies have demonstrated that 96% of patients treated for myopia (nearsightedness) with surface PRK obtain 20/20 or better vision.

 

How It Works

By reshaping the cornea, lasers can correct such a refractive visual problems as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. One type of laser surgery is known as the surface Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). In surface PRK the outermost layer of skin (epithelium) of the cornea is first removed so that the laser can vaporize a microscopic amount of tissue from the cornea to correct the particular refractive problem. A temporary contact lens is placed on the eye for comfort until the skin layer heals, usually 3-4 days for myopic patients and 5-7 days in hyperopic patients.

If you are myopic (nearsighted), surface PRK focuses the light in the retina by reducing the curvature on your cornea.

If you are hyperopic (farsighted), surface PRK focuses the light in the retina by increasing the curvature on your cornea.

If you have astigmatism, surface PRK selectively alters the curvature of the cornea to render it more spherical so that there is one focal point on the retina rather than two or more focal points.

 

Who Qualifies for Surface PRK?

Persons with myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism, and those with moderate amounts of hyperopia with or without astigmatism can benefit tremendously from the surface PRK. The first step toward reducing or eliminating your dependence on corrective eyewear is to make an appointment with the Victoria Corneal Laser Centre or with your current eye care specialist. This consultation is to ensure you are a good candidate for treatment and that you understand the benefits and limitations of the surface PRK procedure.

Potential candidates for surface PRK surgery must generally meet the following conditions:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have stable vision for at least one year prior to the time of surgery
  • Have a full eye examination to rule out conditions that may contraindicate surface PRK surgery
  • Have a refractive problem within the range of effective treatment
  • Be fully informed of the benefits and possible complications following surface PRK surgery
  • Not currently taking certain medications that may be contraindications to surface PRK surgery (notably Accutane & Amiodarone)

The eye surgeons of Victoria Corneal Laser Centre have successfully performed thousands of PRK procedures, helping laser eye surgery Edmonton / Vancouver patients achieve near-perfect vision.