November 15, 2021
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the first of what is now a family of transformative laser eye procedures available throughout Alberta. During PRK eye surgery in Calgary, the outer layer of tissue called the epithelium is removed from your eye to allow the reshaping of your cornea – that domed lens that covers the front of your eye. Removing that epithelium eliminates the risk of some of the complications of another common procedure – LASIK – and the epithelium naturally regenerates during your recovery.
The physical changes that will be made during PRK eye surgery near you are permanent. Those changes won’t wear off in a matter of months or years. Your surgery doesn’t have an expiry date that will inevitably require you to undergo eye surgery in Calgary again. Having said that, there are a couple of situations in which an eye doctor near you may recommend that you undergo PRK a second time. Let’s explain.
Ninety-eight percent of patients achieve optimum visual acuity following PRK surgery – eyesight so good that they can seek clearly without contact lenses or glasses of any kind. If you fall into the tiny minority of people who do not achieve that result after PRK surgery, your eye surgeon may recommend that you undergo the procedure a second time.
Presbyopia refers to natural changes that occur to the lens in our eyes as we age. The cellular changes associated with presbyopia mean your natural lens becomes somewhat harder, less flexible, and less able to adjust and focus accurately on things you’re viewing. There’s an old saying that goes something like “time always wins,” and it’s as true regarding your vision as with anything else, If you’ve undergone PRK once, but the effects of presbyopia and age have diminished your visual acuity, an eye doctor near you may suggest that you undergo the procedure a second time.
Every time that you undergo laser vision correction, a tiny but important amount of your cornea is removed as part of the re-shaping process. That removal and reshaping are what makes laser vision correction so successful, but you need to have sufficiently thick corneal tissue left in order to be a good candidate for a repeat PRK procedure. Before confirming you’re a good candidate for repeat (also called subsequent) PRK, your eye doctor will assess the current state of your vision, the current health of your eyes, your overall health and the thickness of your corneal tissue.
Having already undergone PRK, you’ll find undergoing subsequent PRK very familiar. The preparation, procedure and recovery will be essentially identical to your original experience. Having said that, your surgeon will take nothing for granted but will provide you with detailed preoperative and after-care instructions to ensure a successful procedure and complication-free recovery.
If you have any questions about the appropriateness of undergoing repeat PRK or about any experience you’re having with your eyes or vision, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Clarity Laser Vision. Our staff is committed to answering all your questions and optimizing your eyesight and quality of life.