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Success Rates of PRK Surgery

By William Holcomb on November 13, 2015

An eyechart superimposed over close-up of eyeMillions of patients have undergone PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery to improve their vision. PRK was the first laser vision correction surgery to correct refractive errors, and it led to the development of LASIK. PRK surgery treats mild to moderate nearsightedness and farsightedness, as well as astigmatism. PRK surgery is a quick procedure that can be performed in just minutes. It is considered one of the safest surgical procedures in medical history. After a relatively short recovery time, many patients experience results that last a lifetime. To learn more about PRK success rates, contact our Madison, WI practice today.

What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy?

PRK is a laser vision correction surgery similar to LASIK. At Holcomb Laser Center, we can use wavefront technology to customize the surgery and maximize your results. Wavefront technology involves waves of light that measure your refractive errors. If a patient has perfect vision, the waves are straight; patients with vision errors have waves that are distorted. This computerized wavefront map of your eye can then be used to guide the excimer laser as it reshapes the cornea, producing clear, high quality vision.

During PRK surgery, the doctor will remove the outer layer of the cornea, or epithelium, and use the laser to reshape the cornea. We will use special eye drops to numb your eyes, so you may feel pressure, but should not feel any pain. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll wear contact lenses to protect your eyes while the epithelium grows back, which usually occurs in three to five days. The procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes, and you should be able to return home the same day, although you should not return to work because your eyes may be sensitive to light after surgery.

PRK Surgery Candidates

To qualify for most laser eye surgeries, you need to be at least 18 years old, so that your eyes have fully matured. Your vision should have been stable for at least two years. If your vision prescription changes after PRK, you may require an enhancement procedure. Good candidates should not suffer from arthritis, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases, as these conditions may interfere with the surgery or proper healing. You should have no allergies to local anesthesia, and should not be taking any form of steroids. The PRK procedure works best for patients with low to moderate myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. Patients with extreme forms of these conditions may not be considered good candidates for surgery.

Success Rates for PRK

Research from the FDA shows that 95 percent of PRK patients achieve 20/40 vision or better, with approximately two-thirds of patients reporting 20/20 vision. Results tend to be better for patients who need less correction, and those who have custom PRK using wavefront technology. Still, there is no guarantee of a perfect outcome.

Contact Us Now for a Consultation

If you want to reduce your need for glasses and contact lenses and feel that you may be a good candidate for PRK laser surgery, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. William Holcomb.

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