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What is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?

Your eyesight is absolutely necessary for you to have the highest possible quality of life. People with weak eyesight struggle a lot in their daily lives. Having good eyesight can help you significantly. If you've any vision problem, you must get appropriate treatment in a timely manner. And one such treatment is PRK Laser eye surgery.

What is PRK Laser Eye Surgery?

PRK or photorefractive keratectomy is a type of refractive laser eye surgery that can help people with refractive issues, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is an outpatient surgery that can help improve one's vision.

Over 80% of patients report an improvement in their vision after having photorefractive keratectomy. After undergoing PRK, most people are no longer required to wear their prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Why is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Performed?

Photorefractive keratectomy is recommended to patients with refractive problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

This operation is done with the assistance of a laser. It alters the way light rays are focused on your retina by modifying the shape of your cornea.

Who is the right candidate for PRK Laser Eye Surgery?

In order to qualify for a PRK, you must first satisfy a number of prerequisites. For that, you must first meet a reputable eye clinic. The doctors or ophthalmologists there will explain the whole procedure, including what you shall expect from the procedure. Moreover, they will conduct some tests to determine whether or not you're eligible for PRK laser eye surgery.

Here are the following conditions you must meet to be eligible for PRK:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • Have a prescription for corrective lenses that has not been updated in the past year.

  • You must be suffering from the refractive error that must be treatable with PRK.

  • The cornea and overall health of your eye must be good.

If any of the following apply to you, you probably won't be able to get a PRK:

Have advanced glaucoma.

  • Are pregnant

  • Are still nursing your infants

  • Have cataracts

  • Are suffering from dry eye syndrome or blepharitis in addition to an eye infection.

  • Have wounds in the corners of your eyes.

  • Have an inaccuracy in your refractive power that is always shifting.

  • Have any kind of corneal injuries or diseases

  • Have an illness that prevents you from healing, an allergy, or diabetes that is not under control.

What Can I Expect During the PRK Procedure?

You will receive a number of eye drops designed to numb your eyes before the PRK laser eye surgery. It is to ensure that you do not experience any pain or discomfort while the procedure is being performed. You can also be prescribed an oral tranquilizer to help you relax.

During the process, your eye doctor will insert a little device called an eyelid holder into your eye, which will hold your eyelids open in a comfortable manner.

Then, your ophthalmologist will use a soft brush on your cornea's outermost layer, known as the epithelium, to remove it. After that, your eye surgeon will reshape your corneal tissue using a laser that has a very high degree of accuracy.

Following the surgical process, your ophthalmologist will apply a bandage that resembles a contact lens to your eye in order to help it heal and to make you feel more comfortable.

What is the PRK Result?

During the PRK procedure, a specialized bandage that looks somewhat like a contact lens is placed over the eye in order to assist in the regeneration and healing of the surface layer of the cornea.

Your doctor will ask you to have the bandage until your eyes are completely healed. When the surface has fully recovered, your eye surgeon will then remove the lens kind bandage.

During the healing time, you may experience blurry vision, irritation, or sensitivity to light. All of these symptoms are normal. However, if you feel too much of problems, you must visit your eye surgeon.

In addition, you will also be provided with some pain medication to take for the first day or two afterward. Aside from that, your surgeon will also provide you with eye drops to use as recommended.

Typically, the initial recuperation period lasts for a couple of days. After that initial phase of healing, the vision not only stabilizes but also becomes highly functional.

After the bandage lens has been removed, the majority of patients are able to return to their routine activities, including returning to work, even though full recovery may take roughly a month. Usually, patients experience a gradual improvement in their vision after the PRK laser eye surgery.

Guidelines To Be Followed Before Undergoing A PRK Eye Surgery

There are certain things that you need to follow before undergoing PRK eye surgery, which are as follows:

1. Contact lens wearers must switch to eyeglasses and refrain from using contact lenses for a period of four weeks before undergoing PRK laser eye surgery. It is because the curvature of the cornea can't be altered if contact lenses are worn continuously over a long period of time. After that, it takes the cornea a very long time to return to its normal form.

2. Meet a reputable eye surgeon or visit a reputable eye clinic for your PRK eye surgery. It is because professional eye surgeons provide you with all the information you need before PRK. Moreover, they will explain to you the procedure and what you shall expect from this surgery.

3. Have an in-depth conversation with your eye surgeon about whether or not PRK surgery is the best option for you. Also, discuss what other surgeries are available to you, the potential risks and complications of the procedure, what to expect from the procedure, and what the pre and post-surgery guidelines are.

4. In the days leading up to your procedure, your eye doctor may recommend that you gently but often brush your eyelids and lashes in order to remove any oil or debris that has accumulated there.

5. You'll have to stop taking any medications that treat your cold or allergies at least four days before the procedure. Also, you'll be asked to stop taking any medications that thin your blood for a certain amount of time before the procedure.

6. You will be required to refrain from smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol for a period of 48 hours before and after the surgery.

7. If you have diabetes, you’ll be asked to avoid taking any insulin on the day of your surgery in such a situation.

8. You'll be required to avoid wearing any jewelry, cream, make-up, or perfume on the day of the procedure.

9. Lastly, you'll need to have someone accompanying you for the procedure so that he/she can drive you back home after the procedure.

How much does it cost to have PRK Laser Eye Surgery done in India?

The eye surgery cost in India might vary based on several factors, such as the reputation of the eye surgeon, the location of the eye clinic, and so on. However, on average, a PRK operation may cost you somewhere around INR 35,000 to 40,000 in India.

Are there any long-term risks associated with PRK surgery?

Well, PRK is one of the most advanced and effective vision correction treatments. However, there are rare instances in which an individual may not obtain the optimal outcome after the surgery. In such a situation, your eye surgeon may suggest a second PRK treatment in order to further enhance the results.

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