PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) – Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, FAAO
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is the second most popular laser eye surgery (after LASIK), even though it was developed prior to LASIK. It is an excellent alternative for individuals whose corneas are too thin for the creation of the corneal flaps required for LASIK eye surgery. PRK requires a longer recovery time than LASIK. However, when performed by a skilled PRK surgeon, the procedure yields excellent vision correction results.
Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, FAAO, is among the most experienced PRK surgeons in the Tri-State area. He uses the advanced CustomLASIK technique to provide his PRK patients with customized vision correction treatments.
PRK: The Procedure
Like LASIK eye surgery, PRK involves the use of an excimer laser for corneal reshaping. However, in PRK, the LASIK-style corneal flap is not created. During PRK, the central portion of the outermost layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is completely removed from the surface of the eye after being loosened with a dilute alcohol solution. The excimer laser is then used to correct refractive errors of the stroma (middle layer of the cornea).
Following PRK, the eye is covered with a bandage contact lens to protect the eye during the healing process. Within a few days, new epithelial cells begin to grow and the bandage contact lens is removed.
PRK Recovery and Results
PRK requires a longer healing process than LASIK to allow the epithelial cells to rejuvenate. Patients are provided with detailed aftercare instructions and antibiotic eye drops for a safe recovery. The bandage contact lenses are generally removed within three to five days following the procedure, after which the patient's vision is improved and continues to improve over time.
The best candidates for PRK are those who are at least 18 years old and have had a consistent eyeglass prescription for one to two years. Today, PRK is the most common alternative laser eye surgery for those whose corneas are too thin for LASIK.
For more information on PRK and to find out if you are a candidate, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Donnenfeld. Long Island cataract surgery patients are also treated at Dr. Donnenfeld's state-of-the-art facility.