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If you have been considering laser eye surgery, the term ‘PRK’ would most likely have come up in your research.
Short for photorefractive keratectomy, this was the very first laser eye surgery procedure (pre LASIK and SMILE®). It was first performed by Dr Theo Seiler in 1987 but not offered commercially until the 1990s.
You may also know it as ASLA (advanced surface laser ablation).
Any laser eye surgery procedure is designed to alter the shape of the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye) in order to correct/improve your vision.
Historically, this form of vision correction worked very well (and continues to work well). Before LASIK and SMILE, PRK was the surgical procedure exclusively performed by ophthalmologists to correct vision abnormalities such as nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).
This vision correction procedure has been performed successfully for many years now. It involves several steps.
Vision may fluctuate for several weeks after the operation, but once this settled, ASLA will provide the same visual results as LASIK and SMILE.
Whilst LASIK or SMILE are the procedures of choice for most people due to a faster and more comfortable recovery, ASLA is often recommended for people who have corneas that are not suitable for the flap that is necessary for LASIK.
There are benefits to this form of vision correction surgery, including a lower incidence of ocular dryness (dry eye) that may happen with other procedures.
One of the downsides of PRK is that it takes longer to recover than LASIK. As the initial days after the procedure can be uncomfortable, patients are provided with oral and topical pain management in order to keep them as comfortable as possible. The vision is functional within a number of days and these patients will be able to return to most normal activities within one week.
If you are considering laser eye surgery and do not qualify for LASIK, rest assured that the ASLA/PRK procedure has been performed successfully on thousands of people since 1991 in Australia.
Your laser eye surgeon will be able to assist in answering any questions you may have about your expected recovery.
SMILE® is a registered trademark of Carl Zeiss Meditec
The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.
IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.