Typically when deciding to have laser vision correction you are thinking about LASIK, “just like everyone else”. Fortunately at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists we treat every person as an individual and LASIK is not always the most appropriate procedure. There are situations where Dr. Mozayeni will recommend PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).
What is PRK laser vision correction?
PRK is similar to LASIK in that it is utilizes the same exact laser technology to correct vision. The main difference being that with PRK the surgeon does not have to create a corneal flap. Think of the cornea as a 550 page book where with PRK the laser starts to correct the vision at the beginning of the book just below the cover, where with LASIK the same laser starts 50 to 70 pages below the cover.
Examples of when PRK may be more appropriate include low corneal thickness, underlying weakness of the skin layer, a significant dry eye condition, and irregularity of the corneal shape. If you have one of the above-mentioned factors, PRK can have less risk and produce a more optimal result. PRK does require a slightly longer healing time but the end result is the same in most cases.
With PRK (also referred to as Epi-LASIK, LASEK, or Advanced Surface Ablation) the corneal cover is painlessly removed in about 10 seconds. This cover is the skin layer of the eye that grows back quickly over several days. Then the cornea is reshaped using the Allegretto Eye-Q Laser.
During the 3 to 4 days after surgery, the cover or skin layer of the cornea regenerates on its own with the help of a clear non-prescription contact lens (bandage lens), eye drops, and Vitamin C.
Dr. Mozayeni and Providence Eye & Laser Specialists recommends no-flap LASIK or PRK to approximately 25% of our Charlotte patients due to one of the following reasons:
- Corneal thickness is not adequate for creating a flap.
- Significant problems with eye dryness before the procedure.
- High risk for developing long-term dryness.
- The skin or cover of your cornea is already fragile or damaged due to age, previous injury, or previous infection.
- Unexplained corneal irregularity detected on your mapping.
- Significant scar tissue on the cornea.
- Your occupation is high risk for potential eye injury.
Because Dr. Mozayeni is a Cornea Specialist he is exceptionally capable of detecting subtle corneal abnormalities and therefore recommending the safest procedure for you. This is why meeting your doctor and having a complete and thorough consultation is perhaps the most important part of your vision correction experience.
If Dr. Mozayeni recommends PRK it is because he is confident that PRK is safer for you and will provide a better outcome. There is a difference in terms of recovery, but about 99% of people that have PRK laser vision correction in Charlotte obtain legal driving vision (20/40) within 72 hours, and improve rapidly thereafter to approach 20/20 vision in 2 to 6 weeks.
At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists in Charlotte, we have equally excellent results with either LASIK or PRK.