How Does PRK Work?
PRK and LASEK are among the surface techniques. Thus, the corneal epithelium is pushed aside or removed first mechanically (PRK) or with a special scraper (LASEK). In contrast to the LASIK / FEMTO-LASIK, in which a complete corneal flap is generated, a thin layer of corneal epithelium is remained in PRK / LASEK.
With the excimer laser, the cornea is ablated to a certain thickness with the excimer laser – on the basis of the measured values at the preliminary eye examination. The refractive power of the cornea is thereby changed, so that incoming light rays now bundle correctly on the retina – a sharp visual image is created.
Finally the corneal epithelium is pushed back and the cornea is covered with a protective contact lens. The first 3 to 5 days the contact lens protects the epithelium that has yet to heal, and is then removed. It may take two to three months until the stability of vision is attained.
Good to know
PRK–The Alternative Procedure
PRK (Photo Refractive Keratektomy) and LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis) are fallback procedures and should only be preferred to LASIK/FEMTO-LASIK in special cases.
- PRK and LASEK treatments leave a larger wound area, which can cause significant discomfort and pain.
- Additionally, a mild to severe scarring can occur, which must be treated preventively with cortisone eye drops over a long period.
- In PRK, the healing process is supported by a contact lens.
- Overall, the patient must be prepared for a long time of adjusting to the improved vision.
On the Contrary, LASIK/Femto LASIK Guarantees:
- An almost painless healing process. Because the wound in the depth of the cornea is protected by the "Flap", it creates no scars
- And the improved vision adapts very quickly.
As mentioned before, PRK or LASEK are only fall-back procedures. For this reason, EuroEyes generally only carries out this treatment with patients that have very thin corneas or particular professional reasons, and therefore can’t go through with LASIK/FEMTO LASIK.
Furthermore, the treatment options for LASEK or PRK are limited. As a rule, only myopia up to -6 D and astigmatism up to max. -3 D can be corrected. The correction of presbyopia is not possible.
In summary, the advantages of LASIK / Femto-LASIK compared to PRK / LASEK:
- Faster visual rehabilitation
- Refractive stability
- No regression of the visual disorder
1. Personal, Non-binding Consultation:
- All relevant eye parameters are measured.
- We determine what the best method of treatment is for your eyes
- Examine your eyes to make sure you are a suitable candidate for the treatment
2. A Thorough Medical Preliminary Examination
- The examination usually lasts about two hours
- Intensive ophthalmic preliminary examination and measurement of your eyes
- Our Specialists in ophthalmology will explain every detail about the treatment
- Before this preliminary examination you should not have worn soft contact lenses for one week and hard contact lenses for two weeks
- Please note that after the examination you will not be safe driving a vehicle–neither car, nor motorcycle or bicycle. We therefore recommend that you take a cab or public transportation
- Following the examination you will receive an after-care set for the days after your treatment. The medication and content will be explained in detail by our staff
3. On the Day of the PRK/LASEK Treatment
- We recommend that you wear comfortable clothes on the day of treatment
- You can eat and drink normally on the treatment day, but please do not smoke
- For hygiene reasons, it is also important that you wash your face thoroughly prior to treatment, completely remove makeup, and avoid perfume
- Outpatient surgery, anesthetic eye drops, no bandage, and sunglasses are recommended
- The total duration of the surgery (both eyes): approximately 25 minutes
- You are not allowed to drive a vehicle after the procedure
4. After the PRK/LASEK Treatment
- Please do not rub your eyes
- How and when to use the antibiotic eye drops, the combination product that has a preventive effect against swelling and inflammation, and the pain-relieving eye drops will be discussed with your doctor beforehand
- Return to work after 1-2 weeks
- Resume sports activities, incl. swimming and sauna, after approximately 2 weeks.
- Post-operative follow-up examinations: after 1 day – 4 days – 1 week – 2 weeks – 1 month – 2 months – 3 months
- You may drive a vehicle again only with the doctor's permission