If you are considering laser vision correction to help you improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism while reducing your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, PRK can be a remarkably effective treatment. Often considered an excellent alternative to LASIK, this FDA-approved option actually preceded LASIK as the standard in laser vision correction. Though LASIK has gained more popularity and visibility over the years, the PRK procedure is equally advanced and can deliver comparable results when performed safely and correctly by our experienced board-certified ophthalmologists. Dr. Michael Sumsion and Dr. Sean Sumsion offer this innovative treatment using our state-of-the-art laser technology right here at Riverside EyeCare Professionals.
What is PRK?
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a flapless laser eye surgery that treats the very surface of the cornea to correct refractive errors such as astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. PRK helps many patients who may not be candidates for LASIK (i.e. patients with thin corneas, corneal defects, or those who are at higher risk for eye injuries) see more clearly and reduce their reliance upon corrective eyewear. Individuals who have previously undergone LASIK and require further vision improvement also commonly choose PRK.
Benefits of PRK
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1995, PRK can benefit patients who have corneas that are too thin to be treated with LASIK. This procedure can also be effective for patients who suffer from defects of the epithelium (surface corneal cells), and those who have pupils that are too large for LASIK surgery. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not create a corneal flap. A very small layer of the corneal surface is removed and then the laser reshapes the cornea to provide you with the best vision correction results possible. PRK is a very quick and virtually painless procedure. Typically, only a few minutes are necessary to complete PRK treatments, with results that can lead to significant reduction and possibly elimination of the need for glasses and contacts to see clearly.
What to Expect During PRK
- Length of Procedure: Just a few minutes for most patients, depending on the amount of vision correction necessary for optimal results
- Who performs this procedure?: Our experienced board-certified ophthalmologists—Dr. Michael Sumsion and Dr. Sean Sumsion—perform all PRK procedures.
- Will it be painful?: You should not experience pain during this procedure. Anesthetic eyedrops will be applied before treatment to minimize discomfort. You may have some pain for a short period following the procedure; however, this can be alleviated with medicinal eyedrops, ice packs, and/or over-the-counter medications.
PRK Recovery and Results
You may experience minor pain or irritation for several days after PRK as the surface of your eye heals, though once healing is complete, any discomfort should be fully resolved. Patients are encouraged to relax during recovery, and most find they are able to return to normal daily activities within a few days. You will need to wear a soft contact lens during recuperation in order to help the cornea heal; however, this is only temporary.
Most individuals experience progressive improvement in their vision for some time following PRK, with final results generally being achieved after about three to six months. While optimal results vary with each patient, most who have PRK experience a marked improvement in near or far distance vision and a significant reduction in the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Prior to your PRK procedure, your eye surgeon will provide you with detailed information on the procedure and recovery so that you know what to expect before moving forward with treatment.
Cost of PRK
Our ophthalmologists customize each PRK procedure to suit the needs and lifestyle of the patient. Just as each procedure varies, the price of PRK can change as well. If you want to find out how much it would cost to improve your vision with PRK, please schedule a consultation at Riverside EyeCare Professionals. After a complete examination, your doctor can explain the price of your treatment in full detail based on the specifics of your case. If you have insurance benefits that cover all or a portion of your PRK procedure, a knowledgeable member of our office team can check your coverage and assist in determining your final price. To help make paying for your treatment more convenient and affordable, we accept all major credit cards and offer financing options through CareCredit®—a healthcare lender that provides loans and flexible payment plans to qualified applicants.
Schedule a Consultation with Riverside Eye Professionals
If you would like more information on PRK laser vision correction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation and vision evaluation to determine if this procedure is the best option for your needs, please contact Riverside Eye Professionals today.