PRK – page content
With four locations in the Greater Cincinnati area, the MidWest Eye Center is a leader in Photorefractive Keratoplasty (PRK) and other corrective vision procedures. Our doctors and the staff at the MidWest Eye Center are proud to offer the most effective and technically advanced procedures for PRK and excimer laser surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
PRK is similar to LASIK surgery in that it corrects varying degrees of astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness vision by reshaping the cornea. However, the two procedures are different. With PRK the outer surface of the cornea is reshaped using the excimer laser (a ‘cold laser’ that doesn’t burn tissue but sculpts and reshapes by removing one tiny layer at a time). With LASIK surgery, a flap is created on the cornea and the reshaping takes place on the inner tissue.
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is oblong, or football-shaped. This causes light rays to focus on two points in the back of the eye, instead of just one (which is normal). For astigmatism patients, MidWest Eye Center surgeons use the excimer laser to make the cornea more spherical, creating one point of focus.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, occurs when the eyeball is a little longer than normal from front to back, which causes light rays to focus at a point just in front of the retina, instead of directly on it. MidWest Eye Center surgeons treat this common symptom by removing tissue from the center of the cornea with the excimer laser, slightly flattening its shape. This helps to focus light rays directly on the retina.
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, occurs when the eyeball is slightly shorter than normal from front to back, which causes light rays to focus at a point just behind the retina, instead of directly on it. For patients with farsightedness, MidWest Eye Center surgeons use the excimer laser to remove tissue from the outer edge of the cornea, making it slightly steeper and allowing light rays to focus directly on the retina.
Is PRK for you?
If you are fed up with having to rely on contact lenses or eyeglasses to see clearly, PRK surgery may be for you. Our surgeons and staff at MidWest Eye Center are prepared to help you determine whether or not PRK surgery is for you.
Here are some general guidelines that can help you determine if you are a candidate:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You must have stable vision for at least one year (young adults are susceptible to changes in their contact lens or eyeglass prescription; vision tends to stabilize in the 20’s).
- You must have healthy eyes. You must have no major abnormalities of the cornea or external eye. Any condition that affects how well your eyes would heal after PRK must be addressed prior to surgery.
- Your corneas are typically too thin for LASIK surgery.
What To Expect
For those who are tired of relying on their eyeglasses or contact lenses, Photorefractive Keratoplasty surgery can be an ideal solution. At MidWest Eye Center, we strive to ensure that all our PRK patients will be able to enjoy performing their daily activities without corrective lenses. Over the years, PRK has come to be recognized as very safe and effective. Like any surgical procedure, complications from PRK can occur (although very rarely). For this reason, our surgeons and the MidWest Eye Center staff use the latest in diagnostic technology to conduct thorough pre-operative examinations with each and every patient. MidWest Eye Center understands that PRK is not for everyone and carefully screens each individual in order to ensure the best possible results. Nearly 100% of people who undergo PRK surgery at MidWest Eye Center are completely satisfied with their improved vision.
After PRK surgery some mild side effects such as dryness, glare and halos may be experienced but usually diminish within a short period of time. Eye drops are usually used to help the healing process. As is common with any surgical procedure, each patient heals differently.
If you are interested in laser vision correction and believe you are a potential candidate, please do not hesitate to contact the MidWest Eye Center right away to schedule a consultation. This initial screening will help you to make an educated decision on whether or not LASIK or PRK is a potential solution for your vision problems. For us here at MidWest Eye Center in Cincinnati, OH, it is imperative we ensure that each patient has all of his/her questions answered to their satisfaction prior to undergoing PRK surgery.
The Day Of Surgery
On the day of your PRK surgery, you will arrive at MidWest Eye Center West Chester Surgery Center (located just North of the Greater Cincinnati area) about an hour prior to the procedure. Preparations for your PRK procedure will commence shortly after you are checked in. Patients are instructed to clean their own face and eyes before arriving for surgery. A mild sedative is also offered to every patient to help calm the nerves. First, anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes (no injection is necessary). Once the anesthetic has taken effect and your eyes are completely numb, an eyelid holder is put in place to prevent you from blinking during the short PRK procedure. The anesthetic ensures that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. PRK is a short, painless procedure and, depending on how much correction is required, is usually completed within a few minutes. You may experience some pressure during the procedure, but no pain. Blurry vision is common for a day or two, but most people achieve functional vision before one week following PRK surgery. You will need to make arrangements for a ride home after the procedure, because a bandage contact lens is placed over the cornea. The first few days after surgery, some discomfort may persist as the epithilium (the outer surface of the cornea) heals. Topical drops and oral pain medication are often used to help with this. The majority of PRK patients are able to resume their normal daily activities within a few days after surgery.