PRK or photorefractive keratectomy is essentially LASIK without a flap. The excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea after removal of the epithelium (the first layer of the cornea). The visual results are excellent and are comparable to LASIK, however, the visual recovery is slightly longer. The epithelium heals within a few days and takes time to completely smooth out. The healing process usually takes a few weeks to months for the best vision results. In select cases of patients with keratoconus, PRK can be used to improve the vision often in conjunction with corneal crosslinking, and corneal scars can often be treated with PRK to improve the vision. Our board-certified ophthalmologist and founder, Dr. Aaron Waite, often recommends PRK to patients who struggle to see at night. If you think you may be a candidate for PRK, call Waite Vision in Lehi, UT to schedule your consultation.
"I had been on the fence about having my vision corrected, but decided to take the leap because I was so tired of dealing with my constant eye irritation from my contacts. Dr. Waite performed PRK, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The consultations I had with Dr. Waite before the surgery led me to feel confident going into the procedure. During the surgery Dr. Waite was very calm and reassuring, and I was surprised how relaxed I felt. I couldn’t believe how ...quick it was completed! My post surgery care was also great, and because I had been so well informed about the process there were no surprises before/during/after the surgery. Not having to remember to pack contact solution everywhere I go, or fumble for glasses in the middle of the night when the baby needs me has been amazing. I don’t know why I waited so long to have the procedure. I would highly recommend Dr. Waite to anyone considering having their vision corrected."- M.B. / Facebook / Aug 02, 2018
Custom PRK can correct irregularities that cannot be addressed by glasses, contact lenses or conventional laser surgery like LASIK. These distortions, called "aberrations," are classified as lower-order aberrations or higher-order aberrations. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are responsible for approximately 90% of your blurred vision. Patients suffering from one of these visual errors is likely a candidate for this procedure. Higher-order aberrations account for the remaining blur and affect the clarity of your vision, especially in low-light situations. Our PRK technology uses highly sophisticated instrumentation to generate a structural map (topography) of both your lower and higher-order aberrations. Then, our laser radar tracking device follows the eye to guide the laser to precisely reshape your cornea.
In preparation for surgery, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. Once your eye is numb, Dr. Waite will place an eyelid holder to prevent blinking. He will gently remove the thin layer of the surface of the cornea and use an excimer laser to reshape your cornea, according to specific calculations determined at your pre-operative exam. Within seconds, millions of laser pulses will reshape your cornea to correct the specific refractive error. Afterward, a protective bandage contact lens is placed on each eye to provide added comfort as your epithelium grows back and you recover. During this period you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity.
What to Expect
A temporary contact lens will minimize discomfort and act as protection for the eyes following the procedure. You may suffer moderate discomfort for 3 – 4 days and light sensitivity may continue for 4 – 6 weeks. You can expect to resume driving and working around 4 – 5 days after surgery, though it is not uncommon for those with astigmatism or farsightedness to need longer to recover. Most patients report full recovery and optimal results after 1 – 3 months, with vision improvement continuing up to the six-month post surgery mark. After PRK, you will not need glasses or contacts for most of your daily activities, but your vision can change over time. This is due to normal age progression and not the failure of the procedure.
PRK is typically considered elective and is not often covered by insurance. It is important to remember that the one-time cost of PRK is far less than the cumulative recurring expense of glasses or contact lenses, and you’re making an investment in yourself.
Waite Vision assists you in improving the quality of your life by accepting major credit cards and health savings accounts (HSAs). We also offer easy financing plans starting as low as $99 per month.
See Life More Clearly
Waite Vision believes that you deserve to see the beauty of life with clarity. We offer a number of FDA-approved laser vision correction procedures that have shown great success in restoring and improving the sight of patients with impaired vision. To find out more about PRK or to learn about our laser vision correction options, we invite you to contact our office today. Our staff looks forward to setting up your consultation with Dr. Aaron Waite to determine if PRK is right for you.