Advanced Surface Treatment, also called Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), is a procedure for correcting the shape of the cornea, allowing light to focus more clearly in the eye and bring vision closer to normal for people who have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and/or astigmatism.
PRK can often reduce or eliminate the need for contact lenses or glasses. Patients that cannot tolerate contact lenses often pursue this option. Athletes, firefighters, law enforcement officers, farmers, pilots and others who cannot wear glasses due to occupational requirements undergo PRK to reduce their dependence on glasses. People who desire a functional improvement in lifestyle may consider this option in addition to LASIK to permanently improve their vision. Patients with diabetes or other medical conditions may not be appropriate for PRK.
The PRK procedure is very similar to LASIK. The difference is that while the LASIK procedure involves making a flap on the surface of the eye for treatment, PRK does not. The corrective laser treatment is applied directly to the surface of the cornea. PRK tends to be a little less comfortable temporarily after the procedure because the laser essentially causes a 'scratch' on the surface of the eye. A bandage contact lens is used to reduce this discomfort until the eye's surface heals. The benefit of Advanced Surface Treatment over LASIK is that the possibility of flap-related complication is eliminated. There is also less problem with dry eye after PRK compared with LASIK as well.
Every procedure has its own set of risks and benefits that should be discussed in depth with your surgeon. The physicians of Florida Eye Institute offer free LASIK/PRK consultations to review options and determine if surgery is right for you. Call 772-569-9500 or request an appointment online.