PRK Laser Eye Surgery
Surface Ablation Laser Treatment
Surface ablation or surface laser treatment was the first attempt by mankind to induce vision correction by lasers.
PRK was the very first eye laser surgery introduced for vision correction. ASA, E-LASIK, Supra-LASIK and Epi-LASIK are also some other surface ablation procedures.
Epi-Contoura/ Streamlight which is the latest introduction for specs removal by laser procedures is also a surface laser treatment.
How a Surface Laser Treatment different from LASIK?
Both procedures involve reshaping the corneal surface tissue using an excimer laser to correct the eye vision.
The main difference between them is the first step of the procedures.
In LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea with a special blade, Microkeratome (in Blade LASIK Procedures) or a Femtosecond Laser (in Blade-free LASIK Procedure).
This corneal flap is lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue and is placed back after the cornea is reshaped with an excimer laser.
In Surface Ablation Treatment, the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) is removed and discarded before reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser.
The epithelium layer has a natural tendency to repair itself (grows back over the corneal surface) within a few days after surgery.
It takes longer for your vision to recover after surface laser procedures as compared with LASIK surgery.
Following a surface laser treatment, you’ll have a small, contact-like bandage over your eye that may cause some irritation and sensitivity to light for a few days as your epithelium heals. Your vision will be a little blurry until the bandage is removed after about a week.
It may take 2 weeks before you are satisfied with your visual acuity, and even longer for your vision to fully stabilize.
Whereas after LASIK your vision gets clearer within 2 days.
The final results of the vision won’t differ between the two if the procedure is done properly by a licensed, experienced surgeon.
Both techniques are equally safe and effective in permanently correcting your vision.
When Surface Ablation Treatment is Recommended?
The Surface Laser Treatment is recommended mainly in the following 2 cases:
If the patient’s cornea is too thin for LASIK.
This procedure doesn’t involve the formation of a LASIK-style corneal flap (which contains both epithelial and the deeper stromal tissues). Only Epithelium layer is removed here which leaves behind a comparatively thicker corneal surface for the treatment.
In Case of contact Sports
Since there is no flap created, it is considered safer in persons engaging in contact sports like boxing
Vision correction for Government Medical Exams.
The surface laser treatment (especially the latest, Epi-Contoura surgery) is considered as the most preferred option for vision correction for Private/Govt services’ Medical Exams where LASIK is not allowed.
Epi-Contoura practically leaves no scar in the eye which makes it highly unlikely to be detected even by examination on high-end equipment and machines as done especially in Railway Medicals.
How is Epi-Contoura/Streamlight better than PRK & other surface ablation laser treatments?
Epi-Contoura is also popularly known as a pain-less, touch-less, cut-less, blade-less, flap-less laser procedure.
It is considered better than PRK, ASA, LASEK, e-LASIK, epi-LASIK, supra-LASIK etc. for the following crucial reasons:
It is the latest of all other surface ablation techniques.
Laser-Based Epithelium Removal:
In Epi-Contoura, the Epithelium layer is removed by LASER providing much better precision and safety.
Whereas in PRK and other surface ablation techniques, the epithelium layer is removed by CHEMICALS providing less accurate results.
Better Visual Results: Epi-Contoura provides much better and precise visual outcomes. In case of PRK, since the accuracy is uncertain, there are chances that you might develop a slight specs power again in the future.
Faster recovery: A clear 6/6 vision is achieved within 2 weeks after Epi Contoura, whereas it might take up to 4 weeks for complete recovery after the rest of the surface ablation procedures.