PRK - Trans PRK
How to Get Rid of Glasses Using Laser Surgery?
You should have a complete eye exam. During this examination, a precise evaluation of your refractive error (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia) will be carried out.
In addition, the shape of your cornea will be evaluated using specific instruments (topography, tomography, aberrometry, pachymetry, corneal hysteresis). These exams are easy to perform and last 5 minutes per exam without any contact with your eye.
Refractive surgery - PRK
Like LASIK, refractive photokeratectomy (PRK) reshapes the cornea using an excimer laser, allowing light entering the eye to be focused on the retina.
In PRK, the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed (manually or with the laser (TransPRK)) and the underlying tissue (stroma) is reshaped with the excimer laser. The epithelium grows back on the corneal surface within a few days.
Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can be corrected by PRK with excellent results. The main difference from LASIK is the longer recovery time because it takes a few days for the new epithelial layer to regenerate and cover the surface of the cornea. The second difference is higher discomfort (feeling of pain, burning and itching) in the first 2 days after PRK compared to LASIK surgery.
PRK can be performed even in the presence of a thin cornea because there is no corneal flap as in LASIK. Postoperative corneal dryness can occur after LASIK or PRK, but is more moderate after PRK.
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia (anesthetic drops) which prevent any pain during the procedure. A specific instrument is positioned to keep the eyes open and prevent blinking. You will be asked to stare at a target light while the laser is in action (a few tens of seconds).
Preparation for surgery takes 15 minutes, while laser time lasts a few seconds.
After surgery, burning, itching, and a foreign body sensation may begin and will persist for the first 24-36 hours (during the epithelial healing period). During this time, it is normal to have blurred vision. Vision will start to improve after 3 days and will continue to improve 4-6 weeks after surgery.
At 3 months, vision after PRK is as good as after a LASIK procedure.
Refractive surgery - TransPRK
Transepithelial PRK is a one-step, non-contact laser treatment for myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Compared to PRK, many patients find that there is faster recovery and less severe pain.
Under local topical anesthesia (drops), the epithelial layer is removed not manually (as in classic PRK), but by a specific laser ablation profile. Transepithelial PRK is therefore preferred over LASIK in patients with a thinner cornea.
You will be asked to look at a target light and then the laser treatment is applied. When finished, drops and a bandage contact lens are applied to allow the eye to heal faster.
The postoperative course is very similar to what is described above after PRK, with slightly faster healing and less pain.