PRK Laser Surgery in New Jersey and Middlesex County
Also Serving Mercer County, Ocean County, Bucks County PRK Patients
LASIK is not for everyone. Some patients are not good candidates for the procedure due to eye conditions such as cataracts, keratoconus or glaucoma. In addition, some patients have corneas that are too thin to allow the surgeon to create the corneal flap that is required in the LASIK process. For these patients, the physicians of Campus Eye Group may recommend an alternative laser eye treatment known as PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). PRK can be used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
LASIK Versus PRK in New Jersey
In performing LASIK, the doctor uses a special tool (either a blade-like device or a laser) to create a thin corneal flap with a hinge. The flap is then peeled back, allowing the physician to use an excimer laser to remove (or “ablate”) tissue from the exposed cornea underneath. However, if the cornea is too thin, the creation of the flap leaves insufficient cornea remaining for the physician to shape with the laser. In this case, PRK may be a preferable option.
The main difference between LASIK and PRK is that in the PRK procedure, no corneal flap is created. Instead, the doctor performs the laser procedure directly on the surface of the cornea.
The PRK Procedure
PRK is an ambulatory procedure, meaning the patient walks in, receives treatment, and walks out the same day. Prior to surgery, the doctor anesthetizes the eye with eye drops. Next, the patient is instructed to lie down and gaze at a target light while the physician brushes away a thin protective layer of tissue. The doctor then uses an ultraviolet light beam to remove tissue from the cornea in order to reshape it and correct the patient’s vision errors. During the procedure, which generally takes less than a minute, the laser will make a clicking sound and the patient may detect a slightly acrid odor.
What to Expect After PRK
Although the procedure itself is painless (due to anesthesia), PRK involves more discomfort that LASIK. In addition, whereas the results of LASIK are often immediate, vision improvement from PRK is gradual and can take days, weeks or months. However, the outcome of PRK is similar to that of LASIK: The patient’s vision is usually better than 20/20 after surgery.
Immediately after the procedure, the patient may be instructed to rest for a while before going home (the patient will need to have someone else drive him or her home). Once home, the patient should relax for a few hours. Some patients return to work the following day, but doctors generally recommend taking a couple days off.
Because PRK involves surgery on the surface of the eye, most PRK patients are given special bandage contact lenses to wear and are provided with antibiotic drugs and anti-inflammatory eye drops. In addition, the physician typically prescribes pain medication for the discomfort that will likely occur during the first few days after surgery.
The eye care specialists at Campus Eye Group are qualified New Jersey PRK surgeons who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and help you decide if PRK surgery in New Jersey is right for you.
Besides PRK, the New Jersey eye surgeons at Campus Eye Group specialize in OptiLASIK, the latest procedure that combines an individualized eye-mapping system with state-of-the-art laser technology to provide each New Jersey LASIK patient with optimum refractive surgery outcomes. In addition, patients seeking Visian ICLs and other implantable lenses in New Jersey and Mercer County should speak to a Campus Eye Group eye surgeon.