Texas Vision and Laser Center > LASIK > PRK


Photorefractive keratectomy, PRK, has been around longer than any other laser refractive surgical procedure. However, using the latest laser technology and slightly modified techniques, PRK is still an excellent option for many people. In fact, PRK is currently the procedure of choice for many military surgeons who perform refractive surgery on soldiers who cannot have LASIK due to military restrictions. PRK is a form of advanced surface ablation where no flaps are created. This technique eliminates some of the potential problems that can sometimes occur in LASIK patients.

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The PRK Procedure

During the PRK procedure, the eye surgeon removes the top layer of cells of the cornea by gently brushing them. The eye is completely numb, making the process painless for the patient. Once the top layer of cells is removed, the surface of the eye is reshaped to eliminate any refractive errors that exist. The same laser that is used to perform LASIK is also used to perform PRK. Therefore, it is the same accuracy and precision that is delivered to the eye, regardless of the technique. After the laser procedure, a bandage contact lens is placed on the patient’s eye and it is allowed to heal. During this process, the cells that were removed will re-grow and cover the area that was removed.

The Recovery Process

PRK patients take about one week for the eye to completely heal as the top layer re-grows. It also takes about three to five days for visual recovery, as these top-layer cells are required for good vision. Here at TVLC, we typically use a custom compounded combo drop in most cases, offering the benefit of tailored medication in the recovery process. Also, patients are given comfort drops and pain medications to help manage some of the mild pain and discomfort that can follow the procedure.

Although PRK takes approximately one week for visual recovery, and though there is some mild pain associated with the recovery after the procedure, patients still elect to have the procedure for a few excellent reasons. First, there are no flaps associated with this procedure and none of the flap-related problems that can be associated with LASIK, such as infections, inflammations, wrinkles, dislocations, and incomplete flaps exist. Second, some of the best-recorded visions (20/12) have actually been obtained from PRK patients. Finally, some patients who are not LASIK candidates can actually have PRK. These patients are still able to experience freedom from glasses and contacts even though they aren’t LASIK candidates.
Only you and your doctor can determine which refractive surgery technique is best for you. Call Texas Vision & Laser Center today and schedule a laser refractive surgery exam to discuss your options and have all your questions answered.

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Advantages of Photorefractive Keratectomy, PRK

One of the standout advantages of PRK surgery is its remarkable suitability for individuals who face military restrictions or for those who are not eligible for LASIK. This fact alone opens the door to improved vision for countless individuals who thought they had no recourse. PRK eliminates the need for creating a flap on the eye, which is a pivotal phase in LASIK surgery. By doing so, PRK cuts down the risk of post-surgical complications such as infections, inflammations, and all the flap-related challenges - think wrinkles, dislocations, or incomplete flaps - that some patients might face with LASIK.
It's these inherent benefits of PRK that make it not just an alternative, but a preferred choice for many seeking freedom from their glasses and contacts. With PRK, you're not only opting for a technique with a proven track record but you're also choosing a path with potentially fewer risks and, for many, an optimal visual outcome. Whether you're in a rigorous profession or have been told LASIK isn't suitable for you, PRK opens up a world of possibilities, offering a sense of liberation that's truly life-changing.

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PRK vs. LASIK Comparison

Choosing the right vision correction surgery is a pivotal decision, one that hinges not just on your vision needs but also on your unique lifestyle and medical history. When we talk about PRK and LASIK, you must understand their differences to make an informed choice.
LASIK is often celebrated for its rapid recovery time, allowing patients to experience improved vision almost immediately after the laser eye surgery. It involves creating a thin flap in the cornea, which is then lifted to allow the laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. However, this very process of creating a flap means LASIK may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with thin corneas, for instance, might be advised against LASIK because there's not enough corneal thickness to create a safe flap.
This is where PRK shines as a beacon of hope. Without the need for creating a flap, PRK becomes an ideal option for those with thinner corneas or those who engage in contact sports or occupations that pose a higher risk of facial injury. Imagine a professional athlete or military personnel; the absence of a flap means there's no risk of flap dislocation upon impact, making PRK a safer bet in these scenarios.
Furthermore, PRK has an edge for individuals prone to dry eyes. LASIK can exacerbate dry eye symptoms as the process of creating a flap can sever nerves in the cornea, reducing tear production temporarily. PRK's surface-level approach avoids this, often making it a more comfortable long-term choice for those already battling dry eyes.
All in all, while LASIK offers a quicker path to visual recovery, PRK provides an equally effective, albeit slightly longer recovery route with fewer prerequisites and potentially lesser risks for specific groups of people.
Your lifestyle, your job, your health - these are not just factors but critical elements of your story, and understanding these differences ensures your vision correction choice aligns with who you are and what you do. At Texas Vision & Laser Center, we're here not just to guide you through these choices but to tailor a solution that fits your story.

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Safety and Risks

Every surgery, no matter how refined or technologically advanced, carries its inherent set of risks. However, with PRK, you're looking at one of the safest refractive surgery options available today. The risk of complications is notably low, giving many patients peace of mind. Yes, like any procedure, there are potential risks, such as infection or delayed healing process, but these occurrences are rare and typically manageable with proper care and follow-up.
Compared to other refractive surgeries, PRK stands out for its surface-level approach, avoiding deeper corneal alterations. This significantly reduces the risk of certain complications, such as flap-related issues seen in LASIK surgeries. The absence of a corneal flap means there's no concern about flap dislocations or inflammations - a reassurance for anyone apprehensive about surgery.
We understand that the idea of eye surgery can evoke a mix of emotions. That's why we're committed to not only offering the safest, most effective procedures but also to ensuring you feel informed, comfortable, and confident throughout your decision-making process and beyond. Remember, our team at Texas Vision & Laser Center is here to address any concerns and to provide all the support you need.

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Cost and Financing Options

Understanding the cost of PRK surgery and how it fits within your budget is crucial in making an informed decision about your vision correction needs. At Texas Vision & Laser Center, we believe that advanced vision correction should be accessible to everyone. That's why we strive to provide clear, upfront information about the costs involved in PRK surgery, ensuring there are no surprises along the way.
We recognize that the cost might be a significant consideration for many, but we're here to help make your vision correction dreams a reality. To accommodate the diverse financial situations of our patients, we're proud to offer a variety of financing options. Through partnerships with CareCredit and Alphaeon, qualified applicants can access flexible financing plans that allow them to spread the cost of their PRK surgery over time. These plans often feature low monthly payments and interest-free periods, making it easier than ever to invest in your vision.
At the heart of what we do is a commitment to ensuring that cost does not stand in the way of achieving a clear, liberated vision. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about PRK surgery costs, explore our financing options, and take the first step towards a life with improved vision.

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Ready To See In A Whole New Light?

Choosing the right vision correction option for you is a big decision, but it's one that can change your life for the better. Whether you opt for LASIK or PRK, at Texas Vision & Laser Center, we're here to support you every step of the way. From your initial consultation through to post-operative care and follow-up appointments, our team is dedicated to ensuring you have the best experience possible.
Don't wait to transform your vision and life; contact us at Texas Vision & Laser Center today. Enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge care, personalized treatment plans, and a dedicated team ready to guide you to a clearer vision.

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