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.
"The staff was extremely professional and exceeded every expectation I had. I’ve worn glasses for ten years and now have 20/10 vision. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has ever thought about getting the procedure done."- T.B. / Facebook / Mar 12, 2018
"Recently I underwent successful cataract surgery performed by Dr. James Tucker. I couldn't have been more pleased with Dr. Tucker's professionalism, his willingness to address my questions and concerns, and the empathy and care he demonstrated throughout the process. Dr. Tucker is a credit to his profession and a skilled practitioner I would highly recommend."- R.B. / Yelp / Apr 03, 2019
"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 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
"Excellent service and surgical team. Dr Wilmarth is a very skilled MD. I went from wearing a glasses prescription of -5.00 in both eyes to 10/15 visual acuity which is better than 20/20! Being legally blind one day to no longer having to rely on glasses or contacts is a dream come true. I was definitely nervous about lasik correction but the staff made me feel comfortable every step of the way. The surgical technicians, staff, office and surgery center are all pristine! Thank you Dr Wilmarth!"- J.B. / Google / Jan 25, 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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