Are you searching for a vision correction procedure because you found out you’re not a good candidate for LASIK? PRK and LASEK are similar procedures but are usually better for patients that are not candidates for LASIK.
What is LASEK?
LASEK is a laser eye surgery that does not create a corneal flap. Like LASIK, this procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea and improve your vision.
PRK is also a similar procedure. This surgery removes the outer layer of your cornea and resurfaces it to give you clear vision.
Am I a candidate for LASEK or PRK?
You might be a good candidate for LASEK or PRK if:
- Your vision is stable and it hasn’t gotten any worse in the last year
- Your corneas are healthy
- You don’t have eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, or keratoconus
- You’re over 18 years old and in good health
- You’re not currently pregnant or nursing
SMILE is another option for those interested in having LASEK or PRK. Like LASEK and PRK, SMILE doesn’t involve creating a flap in the cornea. It may be safer for patients that have thinner corneas or suffer from dry eye syndrome that don’t qualify for LASIK.
How does LASEK work?
During the procedure, your surgeon will provide you with numbing eye drops. This ensures you won’t feel any pain while having LASEK! You will focus on a blinking red light as the surgeon works.
You won’t have to stay still for long, and your surgeon will talk you through the procedure. Dr. Lin is one of the first surgeons in the Los Angeles area to offer LASEK to patients!
How does PRK work?
During PRK, you’ll have the epithelial layer completely removed. This gives the surgeon access to the cornea.
A specialized contact lens is placed over the cornea to protect it as it heals. Unlike LASIK, there is no flap created during PRK, which makes the procedure better for patients that may have naturally thinner corneas or those that are not qualified for LASIK.
The existing corneal tissue from the epithelium that stays on the eye acts as a natural bandage for the area treated.
Will I have both eyes treated at the same time for PRK?
Yes. You will have both eyes treated at the same time when you have PRK or LASEK. Treating both eyes at the same time leads to a faster recovery and lets you enjoy your crystal-clear vision in less time!
What is the recovery process like when you have LASEK or PRK?
How long it takes you to recover after having LASEK or PRK depends on your age, how active you are, and more. Most patients are able to drive themselves to their follow-up appointment the day after having LASEK.
With PRK, most patients can drive 3-5 days after their procedure. It can take three to six months to fully heal after PRK.
On the day of your procedure, you’ll need somebody to drive you home. You cannot drive yourself home after you’ve had LASEK or PRK.
Your doctor will tell you to rest, wear sunglasses outside to avoid harming your cornea, and to use eye drops so your eyes don’t get infected. You may feel pain and experience blurred vision for a few days after surgery.
This is only temporary and will usually go away on its own.
What are the risks of LASEK and PRK?
In general, LASEK and PRK are very safe procedures. This is especially true when you work the skilled surgeons at IQ Laser Vision .
But risks are part of any medical procedure. Potential LASEK and PRK risks include:
- Dry eyes. After LASEK and PRK, you might experience dry eyes for a few weeks as your eyes heal.
- Glare or halos. Laser eye surgeries can sometimes cause glare or halos as you recover.
- Foreign object sensation. Foreign object sensation is the feeling that something is in your eye. LASEK and PRK patients may experience this sensation while recovering.
- Corneal haze. Some patients may develop blurred vision from extra scar tissue. This is a rare side effect of LASEK surgery.
- Increased healing period, especially compared to LASIK
What are the benefits of LASEK and PRK?
- LASEK and PRK at IQ Laser Vision in San Francisco have a lot of benefits. You won’t need to wear glasses or contact lenses anymore, which means you’ll save money and a lot of hassle.
- Your vision will be clear, and your corneas will be stronger. When you choose LASEK or PRK instead of LASIK, you won’t have any of the potential complications that might come with creating a corneal flap.
- LASEK is also a good option for patients who might not qualify for LASIK. If you have a thin cornea, a high prescription, or a cornea that’s irregularly shaped, LASEK could be a better choice for you.
Will my vision change later in life?
Your vision will probably change later in life. But that’s not because of your laser eye surgery.
Later in life, you may develop presbyopia, meaning it becomes harder to focus on objects that are up close, or cataracts, which occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy.
Cataracts are most likely to develop in your forties or fifties. Laser surgery simply gives you clear vision, so you don’t need glasses or contact lenses.
LASEK or PRK will not prevent the development of future eye conditions.
Will I still need to wear glasses?
You might need glasses after PRK or LASEK surgery for certain activities, such as reading. But in most cases, your vision will be improved so much that you don’t need glasses or contacts anymore.
What happens during a complimentary consultation?
You can visit your refractive surgeon in Los Angeles at IQ Laser Vision for a complimentary consultation. This visit will help you decide if PRK or LASEK are the best choice for you.
At this consultation, your surgeon will explain the procedures and examine your eyes. You can also ask any questions you have about PRK and LASEK.