what is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a refractive surgery procedure performed to correct vision issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It received FDA approval in 1995 in the USA and has been performed in other countries since the 1980s. Prior to the development of LASIK surgery, PRK was the most common refractive surgery procedure.
Dr. Wilmarth, our board-certified ophthalmologist, often recommends PRK as an alternative to LASIK. Many patients in the Roseville and Sacramento, CA area who are not good LASIK candidates (due to corneas that are too thin or pupils that are too large) may achieve excellent results with PRK. Patients with corneas that are very thin may experience complications with corneal flap creation during LASIK, which rules them out as a candidate. PRK can help patients avoid these unwanted LASIK complications while still restoring their vision and eliminating the need for corrective lenses.
"Long Story short: best money I ever spent. Short story long: eye surgery is not something I’m going to risk by trying to find a "good deal." It was important to me to find someone experienced and capable. Dr. Wilmarth came recommended by a friend who did her surgery a year prior. He’s been doing it for almost 30 years. He’s efficient, which is something I appreciate. I wasn’t looking to be coddled but I did have questions that he answered knowledgeably. I trust him completely and recommend him to all of my friends who want lasik. My vision was -4.75 (R) and -5.25 (L) with astigmatism. It’s now corrected to what my vision was in contacts/glasses and that’s not even fully recovered. I can not recommend Dr. Wilmarth enough. Yes, it’s pricey, but the biggest draw for me was that I knew someone who had surgery with him and loved it. I’m not about to risk my eyes on a doctor who hasn’t been vetted. So look no further. This guy knows his stuff."- S.Z. / Yelp / Apr 10, 2022
"Such a great experience at Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center. I have been wearing contact lenses for over 25 years, and I was hesitant to get my eyes fixed. I went in a for a consultation, and Dr. Wilmarth made me feel so confident in getting lasik surgery. I had a couple pre-surgery appointments, all done very quickly and easily, and then I went in for surgery. The lasik surgery was PAINLESS and so so quick. Recovery was just as easy, and by the next morning, I was seeing as clear as if I were still wearing my contact lenses. I'm now a week out of surgery, I have better than perfect vision, and I'm so so happy with my results! Thank you to Dr. Wilmarth and his team!"- E.D. / Healthgrades / Mar 31, 2022
"I came home from seeing you (Dr. Wilmarth) today and sat down at the piano and opened my music and I could see it very well, and I started playing. And then I had to stop because I was just crying and crying and crying. Thank you for restoring my ability to see my music!"- L.B. / Office Visit / Mar 10, 2021
"I have been wanting to get Lasik for a very long time, and 2021 was the year to do it. Dr.Wilmarth and his staff are top notch, very friendly and went over step with me to make sure I felt confident with my decision. Best decision I ever made, I was extremely lucky and got the 1% chance of getting 20/10. This was much greater then I ever expected, the surgery was quick and painless took about 10 mins each eye. If anyone ever asks me about Lasik I will only recommend Dr.Wilmarth."- M.Y. / Google / Jan 26, 2021
"I can read the back of a medicine bottle, emails on my computer, the TV 10 feet away and street signs a quarter mile away, all without the glasses I’ve always worn. This miracle is due to the fact that Dr. Wilmarth removed my cataracts and implanted lens. I’m so thrilled to see vivid colors again. This was a life-changing event for me. Dr Wilmarth and the staff was wonderful."- L.W. / Yelp / Aug 26, 2020
Who is a Candidate for PRK?
If you have blurry vision due to a refractive error and are over the age of 18, you could be a candidate for PRK. Dr. Wilmarth may recommend PRK if you have corneas that are too thin or irregular for LASIK. Our team will evaluate your eyes and discuss your vision goals before moving forward with any treatment. Inform us of any medical conditions or medications that may affect your ability to heal from surgery. Our goal is to ensure your safety and achieve the best possible results.
how is prk performed?
Both PRK and LASIK are performed to treat the same refractive errors in vision, but each procedure takes a different approach to reshaping the cornea. In LASIK, a hinged flap is created on the surface of the cornea that is used to reshape the underlying tissue. PRK does not require the creation of a flap. Instead, the surface layer of the cornea is completely removed, allowing Dr. Wilmarth to reshape the underlying tissue with a precise laser.
During the PRK recovery period, the surface layer of the cornea will heal. As a result, the healing time for PRK is a little longer than for LASIK, and patients may experience a little more discomfort. But they will be able to achieve excellent vision with both procedures.
is prk worth it?
PRK is a very effective way to correct refractive errors in vision. Approximately 95% of patients are able to see clearly without glasses three months after the surgery is complete. While it may take a little longer to achieve results with PRK, the procedure is well worth the investment if patients are not a good candidate for LASIK.
Does PRK surgery hurt?
No, it doesn’t. Before your PRK procedure, Dr. Wilmarth will numb your eyes with anesthetic drops, so most patients only report feeling slight pressure. There can be some discomfort during the recovery phase of PRK, with the first 2 – 3 days after your procedure being the most uncomfortable. Patients may experience some eye pain along with irritation, itchiness, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.
How long does a PRK procedure take?
PRK is very quick, often only taking about 20 minutes.
Is PRK safe?
Yes, it is. PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) was approved by the FDA in 1995 and is performed widely around the world, with the risk for complications being very low.
How long is recovery after PRK?
Recovery time will vary for each person, but typically, most patients can expect a full correction of their vision to occur after about 3 – 6 months.
What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
Both procedures use an excimer laser to correct the vision. With PRK, the surface layer of the cornea is completely removed, allowing Dr. Wilmarth to reshape the underlying tissue with a precise laser. LASIK includes creating a thin corneal flap with the laser treating the corneal tissue under it. The recovery time for PRK tends to be a bit longer than LASIK surgery, but the results are the same.
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If you're ready to restore your eyesight and get rid of corrective lenses, PRK is an effective alternative to LASIK, offering the same benefits catered toward each individual. Call today to find out how you can start your treatments and live with better eyesight.
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