PRK Surgery (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)

Do you want to see clearly? Read this guide, by leading expert Dr Dylan Joseph, to learn more about PRK eye surgery and how it can benefit you.

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Dr Dylan Joseph

Cataract and Refractive Surgeon

MBChB(Pret), Dip Ophth(SA), FC Ophth(SA),
MMed Ophth UFS (cum laude)

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With all the information out there, fully committing to PRK eye surgery and getting rid of your glasses or contact lenses can be a daunting task. We understand your concerns. This guide to PRK will put your mind at ease as we will answer all your questions and provide an in-depth view of the procedure, benefits, risks, recovery time and cost of PRK eye surgery. Keep reading to find out why PRK surgery is one of the best gifts you can buy yourself.

What is PRK?

PRK stands for Photo-Refractive Keratectomy.

The PRK procedure was the very first way in which laser vision correction was performed and is the predecessor to the popular LASIK procedure. Today, it is still an effective and accepted laser vision correction procedure.

PRK is used to correct a variety of vision problems including:

  • Myopia (short-sightedness)
  • Hyperopia (far-sightedness)
  • Astigmatism

What are the Benefits of PRK Surgery?

PRK eye surgery has many benefits and proven results:

  • Approximately 90% of PRK patients have 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses within one year after the procedure.
  • Over 95% of patients have 20/40 vision, or better, without glasses or contact lenses, after treatment.
  • In patients, with thinner corneas or corneal surface irregularity, PRK may be preferable to LASIK eye surgery, because PRK disrupts less corneal tissue.
  • PRK is a simpler procedure than LASIK when it comes to technicality and utilises the same modern laser treatment system.

Am I a Candidate for PRK Eye Surgery?

Dr Dylan Joseph will chat to you and thoroughly decide which laser vision correction procedure is best suited to your eyes.

Contact us to make an appointment and find out if you’re a candidate for PRK eye surgery.

What does the PRK Procedure Entail?

The PRK procedure involves completely removing the thin layer of epithelial cells, instead of replacing them.

We take this procedure a step further and perform what is known as Trans-epithelial PRK. This is the latest development in technology, and we perform this procedure using our WaveLight platform, known as Streamlight.

In this advanced form of PRK surgery, the excimer laser removes the layer of epithelial cells, instead of these cells being removed manually. The excimer laser then performs laser vision correction. This cutting-edge, no-touch technique provides fantastic results.

You can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands as Dr Dylan Joseph worked in a clinic in Dublin, Ireland, where they were the first in the world to use this clever technology.

What are the Risks of PRK Eye Surgery?

As with any invasive medical procedures, there are some risks involved in PRK surgery.

There will be some form of discomfort after the procedure. However, this isn’t something that is too disruptive and is commonly describes as having a sandy or gritty sensation in the eyes.

After surgery, your eyes may stream with tears and be a bit light sensitive. Fortunately, this experience is short-lived, and lubricating eye drops and the cold therapy Opti-Therm eye mask can be used to relieve these side-effects.

There is also a small risk of infection. We take extra care to prevent this as we treat your eye with antibiotics before and after the PRK procedure. If an infection does occur, it is easily treatable.

Inflammation is another risk you should be aware of. Treatment of inflammation varies as it depends on the severity. If the inflammation is moderate to severe, we can rinse underneath the flap created by the PRK procedure to help reduce inflammation.

These are the most important risks of PRK surgery. However, with the advanced technology used to perform this procedure and the way in which these risks are managed, most of them are short-lived or a thing of the past.

What is the Recovery Time After PRK Surgery?

PRK is an advanced surface ablation treatment, and recovery is decided into two aspects: visual recovery and comfort.

 Visual Recovery

During surgery, the thin layer of cells overlying the cornea is removed. This layer of cells is crucial to good vision, and while it is removed, it heals to its original state over time.

After the procedure, you will have a bandage contact lens placed on the surface of your eyes. This bandage contact lens must stay in place for four to six days, whereafter we will remove it at the clinic.

This bandage contact lens allows the surface cells of your eye to heal.

You will be able to see after the procedure; however, your vision will only be clear four to six weeks after surgery. You may also note that after three weeks, your vision will start to clear up, but then suddenly become blurry again for a few days. This will happen again in week four. It is important to note that this is completely normal!

Your vision will become clearer, but it does take some time. It is crucial to prepare yourself for this as it is an unavoidable part of the recovery process after PRK surgery.

Comfort

Comfort after PRK surgery can vary.

With StreamLight, comfort after PRK is improved, however these surgeries, although painless, can result in a gritty feeling in your eyes after surgery. This feeling can last several days. As mentioned above, your eyes can also stream with tears and be light sensitive.

For optimal recovery, we recommend that you take a few days off work after receiving the surgery. We will also assist you with pain medication if required.

Additionally, we offer you a cold eye mask, uniquely designed by Dr Dylan Joseph. This Opti-Therm cold eye mask can be applied over your eyelids for ten to twenty minutes, two to three times per day. This can be done for the first few days after surgery or until you experience significant relief.

We will assist you in any way possible and help to make your recovery process as easy and comfortable as possible.

PRK Surgery Cost

Contact us to find out more about the cost of PRK.

Summary
Ophthalmologist and Eye Specialist
PRK Laser Eye Surgery
Dr Dylan Joseph
Dr Dylan Joseph,
4 Barracuda St, Fisher Haven,Advanced Health Surgical Centre,Knysna-6571,
Telephone No.087 075 1499
Garden Route
Advanced Health Surgical Centre
Ophthalmologist and Eye Specialist in Knysna focuses on Cataract Removal, LASIK, LASEK, PRK Laser Eye Surgery.
PRK Surgery or Photorefractive Keratectomy is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

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