PRK safety

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Chockstock, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

    Feb 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone,

    So I'm a yuk and if I get things approved, I could opt to get PRK surgery within the year. I have heard some unsavory things about the surgery though and I know that not everyone has 100% satisfaction with it. There are briefings about the surgery every month and I plan on attending the next one but I was just wondering if anyone here has information about the long term safety of the surgery. I'm talking like 50, 60 years down the road...I know the technology has only existed for only like 20 but some say that we don't know what effect PRK has on our eyeballs in the long term (which is the most important, I think).

    Thanks everyone - I hope life continues to treat you well and that your families remain healthy.

  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Apr 29, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Don't forget to consider short-term goals. PRK can be waived for many schools, especially USASOC qualifications. LASIK cannot (in case you were considering that as an alternative).
  3. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Yay, this is one Topic I can add to. I was the refractive surgery coordinator for two corneal specialists and spent what seems like a lifetime in eye care. Although I left working world 10 years ago and I am sure the procedures have only improved since then.
    Although PRK is called surgery there is not any cutting involved. It is the most noninvasive of all refractive surgery procedures. The cornea is reshaped by the laser only and the most outer layer of the cornea ( epithelium ) heals itself very quickly. But since the surface itself needs to heal the recovery is slightly longer and there may Some discomfort although a contact lens lens worn as a band aide usually takes care of that. In the past PRK procedures were done on separate days but I believe now it customary to do both at the same time.

    LASIK is slightly more invasive because a flap is created and the cornea is reshaped with the laser then the flap is replaced. The only healing time is the
    c-shaped line where the flap was made. The creation of the flap itself makes for the ultra quick surface healing time and less discomfort but was also why there was some caution as to what the effects of force might be on a healed flap.
    My DS is a very good candidate for the procedures. When and if he has the opportunity I will support this option. It is important the patients eyes have had a stable refractive error ( eyeglass or contact prescription) for at least a year before the procedure is preformed. Only to minimize any fluctuations after the procedure is done.

    Remember my info is a decade old now :eek:
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Start doing a google search on just about anything and you will find "unsavory" things. I think you will find that by and large refractive eye surgery is very safe and quite effective. Most patient complaints that have been filed and that I have seen online regard things like glare and halo's. Unfortunately the data you are looking for doesn't exist and won't exist until 50, 60 years down the road. It is impossible to know the full effects of something for a period of time until that time has elapsed and the studies have been done. Now one can look at the data and try to extrapolate and I think most would say that these procedures will continue to have a very high success rate without major complications when performed on the correct patient.

    In the fee for service community there is a huge incentive to do as many procedures as you can on as many patients as you can. Those centers may take more "risks" as to what patients they perform surgery on. In the military, and particularly the Navy, they are very conservative on who they will and will not perform refractive surgery on. If you fall out very definite parameters they simply will not do the procedure, although if you went two miles down the road to a civilian they very well may. The reason for this is the military wants to be able to say we have a very high success rate and to date we do, something around 95-99% are 20/20.

    Anyway, is the procedure safe? Performed by a qualified and competent surgeon and performed on the "correct" patient then the answer is yes.

Share This Page