PRK surgery is a kind of laser vision correction that has the possible to improve millions of patients’ vision. Due to the fact that the initial cost of laser eye surgery can seem high when compared to the cost of a three-month supply of contact lenses or new spectacles, lots of patients select not to go through these procedures.
The PRK Procedure
The PRK procedure resembles the LASIK laser vision correction procedure. During both treatments, the cornea is reshaped to completely correct myopic, hyperopic, and astigmatic refractive errors. The cornea is the transparent, protective covering of the eye that deals with the lens to refract light and produce clear vision. When the cornea is too curved or too flat, light does not show properly off the retina, causing blurry vision.
During both the PRK and LASIK treatments, surgeons improve the cornea with an FDA-approved excimer laser to improve the patient’s capability to focus on near and far things. However, in the PRK procedure, surgeons completely remove the epithelial layer (outermost layer of corneal tissue). In LASIK surgery, the doctor develops a hinged corneal flap that can be closed after the laser-reshaping portion of surgery is total.
Are You a Good Candidate for PRK Surgery?
To be a good candidate for PRK eye surgery, having money for PRK surgery is not enough. You must:
- Be at least 18 years of ages. This ensures that the eye has developed and established properly.
- Your vision needs to be stable for a minimum of one year prior to surgery. If your eyesight is still moving, PRK might not be as efficient, or it may need to be redone as soon as your vision stabilizes.
- Have no irregularities of the cornea or external eye, as these can disrupt the success of PRK. In specific, you need to not have or be at risk for keratoconus, a disease where the cornea handles a cone shape due to weakening ocular fibers. If your cornea is already moving due to tissue damage, it is inadvisable to attempt to improve it with an excimer laser.
- Not be taking medications such as Imitrex, Cordorone, Accutane, or any steroids, as these substances can hinder the surgical and recovery processes. If you want to undergo this surgery but are currently taking one of these medications, consult with your doctor and ophthalmologist about your alternatives. You must have stopped taking these prescriptions for a minimum of 6 months before your surgery date.
- Have no allergies to local anesthesia, as your ocular surgeon will need to numb your eyes with drops prior to beginning laser treatment.
- Be free of autoimmune disease or immunodeficiency, because these can hinder correct healing.
- Not struggle with arthritis or diabetes, as these conditions can disrupt surgery and results.
- Be without collagen vascular disease, which could result in corneal ulceration, compromising your ocular health.
- Have no predisposition to keloids, the development of irregular or extreme scar tissue at the site of surgery or injury.
- Be free from glaucoma, a disease in which patients’ eyesight reduces due to increased pressure within the eye.
- Not be pregnant or nursing at the time of surgery, as hormones cause tissue changes within the eye, altering the refractive mistake.
- Understand the risks involved with PRK surgery. Side effects can consist of halos around vision, irreversible mild glare, and aggravated vision.
What Is PRK Eye Surgery Cost?
Due to the fact that the custom PRK laser vision correction treatment employs use of extra innovation, the cost of custom PRK is usually more expensive than standard PRK surgery. Traditional PRK surgery typically costs about $1,800, while custom PRK surgery can be as high as $4,000.