As with most laser eye surgery,Â photorefractive keratectomy, also known asÂ PRK, is generally recommended for adults only. Younger people are still growing, and it is better to make changes to the cornea after full maturity. Adults are also better able to care for their eyes and ensure proper healing. People over the age of 18 are able to more clearly communicate to the PRK surgeon exactly what problems they have with their eyes, making it more likely that the surgery results will be good.
How PRK is Different From LASIK
The PRK procedure was actually developed beforeÂ LASIK. PRK uses a laser to reshape the cornea just like LASIK does, butÂ PRKÂ is an ablation technique, which means the laser is used to remove tissue from the corneaâ€™s outer surface. By contrast, in the LASIK procedure, a portion of the cornea is lifted away from the eye, and the tissue beneath it is altered. Because the unaltered corneal tissue is replaced over the altered cornea, acting like a natural bandage, healing is much faster after LASIK. However, PRK is more effective in certain situations, including:
- Thin corneas
- Oddly shaped corneas
- Cornea is steep in contour
- Patient suffers from lazy eye (amblyopia)
These characteristics of the cornea itself make it more difficult to create a corneal flap to perform LASIK surgery, making PRK a superior option. Evaluation of your cornea can determine if any of these conditions exist.
If you are considering PRK,Â New York City PRK specialist James Kelly, MD, can determine if PRK or LASIK is the best option to correct your vision. To schedule a consultation or an appointment with Dr. Kelly, pleaseÂ contactÂ Kelly Laser Center in New York City.