Being one of the best PRK doctors in Minneapolis requires a lot of experience and clearly, a lot of faith in the benefits of PRK… The benefits of PRK over it’s previously more popular step-sister, Lasik…
It is a little known fact that PRK is actually the predecessor to Lasik and was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction. Improvements in laser technology in the last decade have benefited PRK- meaning that more patients are feeling better and having better visual results with PRK than with Lasik. At Claris, Dr. Carlson performs countless PRK surgeries a year. It was comforting to find out that PRK eye surgery is actually an ambulatory procedure (which means you walk-in, walk-out the same day), done right next door to Claris at the renowned Phillips Eye Institute …. And, that the actual surgery itself takes only 15 minutes!
Ok, here’s the nitty gritty:
PRK stands for photorefractive keractomy and is a type of refractive surgery used to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness.
PRK works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser – which in translation means a short wave ultra violet light allowed to enter the eye, focused onto the retina, to vaporize and remove tissue from the eyes surface- the cornea. The remaining underlying corneal tissue is called the residual stromal bed. The main way that PRK differs from Lasik is that during Lasik a hinged flap is created on the cornea to access treatment area, and in PRK the cornea’s entire epithelial (outer) layer is removed to expose the treatment area, with no flap.
Initially the complaint about PRK was that the recovery time is too slow. It takes a few days for the epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye. And even though Lasik has a faster recovery period, a few of it’s shortcomings have come to light (pun intended), namely there have been complaints about night vision & the quality of vision. However, with the improvements in laser technology, PRK now allows the surgeon to leave a smoother stromal bed after surgery, with improved quality of vision and reduced formation of haze (another initial complaint about PRK). Most surgeons are applying mitomycin C for several seconds after surgery nowadays, to prevent haze after the healing period.
There are certain people who would be very attractive candidates, and would find PRK especially useful. These would be patients with:
- Thin corneas
- Large pupils
- Corneal scars
If you are a possible candidate and are considering PRK, here are a few helpful Pre and Post- operative keys to success to keep in mind:
Preop- Careful preoperative care is crucial in helping to speed epithelial healing. Patients with Blepharitis should treat with lid hygiene, antibiotics & scribs.
Patients with dry eye should use artificial tears, Restasis, ointments or punctual plugs. In some cases, a dose of steroids just before surgery and quickly tapering over the days after can help with inflammation and pain.
Postop– The crucial point for epithelial healing and for reducing pain here is that the contact lens placed after surgery fits correctly.
Do not overuse anesthetic eye drops after surgery, this can delay healing time.
Decreasing inflammation in the eye is vital to speed healing- but it’s important to use with caution.
Think it’s time for a little PRK today?
The most important decision you will make is choosing the best eye surgeon with the most experience in PRK. And for that you need not look any further. Consistent patient feedback is that Dr. Carlson is the best eye surgeon for PRK!! Dr. Carlson, who was not only voted “Top Doc” again this year, but who has also been performing PRK for nearly 20 years, will assure that you are in good hands and looking good in no time.
Make an appointment to have a thorough eye exam, where Dr. Carlson can assess your general health and medical background and determine if you are a suitable candidate for PRK.
Contact Claris today at 612.775.8009 or by email at email@example.com
For your eyes, the choice is clear.