Photorefractive Keratotomy Eye Surgery, or PRK, is a procedure that is used to reshape the cornea of the eye in order to correct vision problems. Recently released studies show that people who have undergone a PRK procedure keep their corrected vision for ten or more years.
What is PRK?
During a PRK procedure, the top layer of corneal cells are removed lightly, and a small pulsing laser beam of an ultraviolet light reshapes the cornea. This differs from the more popular LASIK correction procedure in that in PRK the laser is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath a cut corneal flap.
Is the recovery from PRK difficult?
People who undergo PRK may experience some discomfort in the two to three days following their procedure. This is due in large part to the cornea rebuilding itself. The cornea has thousands of nerves endings which are stimulated as the cells re-grow back into their newly shaped places.
Typical Results from PRK
After surgery, most individuals have approximately 72 hours of blurred vision as the corneal cells rebuild themselves and recover from the laser treatment. After that initial time period, however, most people see at least 20/40 or better, with the majority seeing 20/20.
How long will PRK corrected vision last?
Results of a study released in November 2010 were published on the website OSN SuperSite. In this report, researchers found that after ten years, 40 percent of all eyes surgically corrected still saw 20/20 or better, and 81 percent saw 20/40 or better. In all cases, the study showed the PRK procedure had increased visual acuity in the surgical eye and the results were sustained for at least a decade.
Who may benefit from PRK
People who will benefit the most from PRK are people with mild near or farsighted prescriptions. It is possible for individuals who have higher prescriptions to do well with PRK, however the people with the most success tend to be those with an eyeglass prescription of -2.00D to +2.00D.
As the PRK procedure continues to improve, it is only reasonable to expect the results to improve. As with any surgery, there are risks associated and PRK is no different. Anyone who may be considering a vision correcting surgery should discuss all options, including PRK, with their ophthalmologist and select the option that will have the best chance at a 20/20 outcome.
PRK yields stable visual, refractive outcomes at 10 years despite endothelial cell loss. www.osnsupersite.com