When it comes to vision correction, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You might be familiar with Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), having experienced it firsthand. But have you considered what comes next? What about LASIK? In the world of ophthalmology, LASIK is a widespread procedure recognized for its efficiency and promising results. This blog post explores the viability of undergoing LASIK after PRK surgery, offering insights into the process, its benefits, potential risks, and key considerations to keep in mind.
What Are LASIK And PRK?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) are two commonly performed procedures in refractive eye surgery. Both are designed to correct vision problems by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. Thus enabling light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina.
LASIK: LASIK is perhaps the best-known form of laser eye surgery. In this procedure, a thin flap is created on the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. This flap is then lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue and is put back in place after the cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser. This process allows for a rapid recovery of vision and minimal discomfort post-surgery.
PRK: PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and predates LASIK. Unlike LASIK, where a flap is created, PRK works by removing the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) completely, using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The epithelium regrows naturally conforming to the new shape of the cornea. PRK has a longer recovery time compared to LASIK due to the time it takes for new epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye.
Is LASIK after PRK Surgery Possible?
Yes, it is generally possible to have LASIK surgery after having PRK. In fact, there are situations where a patient might require or wish for additional vision correction after a PRK procedure, and LASIK could be an option in such cases. However, the decision should be individualized based on several factors.
The crucial factor to consider is the thickness and health of the cornea. Both PRK and LASIK involve the removal of some amount of corneal tissue. So, before a LASIK procedure can be carried out post PRK, an ophthalmologist will need to determine if there is enough healthy corneal tissue left to safely create the corneal flap required for LASIK. If the cornea is too thin, undergoing LASIK could increase the risk of complications.
While LASIK can technically be performed after PRK, it’s not always the best or the safest option for everyone. An in-depth consultation and evaluation with a skilled ophthalmologist is essential.
When To Go For LASIK After PRK Surgery?
The decision to go for LASIK after PRK surgery is based on multiple factors and should be made in consultation with a qualified ophthalmologist. Here are a few scenarios that might warrant consideration of LASIK after PRK surgery:
- Incomplete Vision Correction
If your PRK surgery did not fully correct your vision, or if you’re still relying on glasses or contact lenses, you might consider an additional procedure. However, it’s essential to have a thorough examination and discussion with your eye doctor to understand why the first procedure didn’t achieve the desired results.
- Changes Over Time
Even if your PRK surgery was successful, your vision can change over time due to factors such as age, hormonal changes, or lifestyle modifications. If this happens and you’re no longer satisfied with your vision, LASIK might be an option.
- Corneal Thickness and Health
The primary concern for LASIK after PRK is the thickness of the cornea. Both procedures remove a part of the cornea. Before going for LASIK after PRK, you should undergo thorough testing to ensure your cornea is thick enough for another procedure.
- Healing and Stability Period
After PRK, it’s crucial to allow enough time for your eyes to heal and for your vision to stabilize. This usually takes at least a few months but could be longer, depending on individual circumstances. Your eye doctor will recommend when it might be safe to consider an additional procedure.
Remember, LASIK isn’t the only option after PRK. Other procedures, such as a touch-up PRK or newer methods like SMILE or implantable lenses, might be more suitable depending on your individual situation. Make sure to discuss all possible alternatives with your eye doctor to make an informed decision.
What Are The Benefits Of LASIK Post-PRK?
While the decision to undergo LASIK after PRK should be individualized and discussed with a qualified ophthalmologist, there are several potential benefits of choosing this path:
1. Enhanced Vision: If your initial PRK surgery did not fully correct your vision or your vision has changed over time. Then, LASIK could help further refine your vision. Potentially leading to less dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
2. Quick Visual Recovery: One of the advantages of LASIK over PRK is the typically faster visual recovery. Most patients notice a significant improvement in their vision within a day or two after LASIK, compared to a week or more with PRK.
3. Reduced Discomfort: After PRK, it takes several days for the corneal epithelium to regenerate, which can cause discomfort and blurred vision during the healing period. In contrast, LASIK involves creating and repositioning a corneal flap, usually resulting in less postoperative discomfort.
However, it is vital to remember that every surgical procedure, including LASIK after PRK, carries risks and potential complications. Thorough preoperative evaluation, careful surgical planning, and postoperative follow-up are essential components of safe and effective surgical treatment.
What Are Some Risks Involved?
Here are some possible risks involved in LASIK after PRK surgery:
- Corneal Ectasia: Both PRK and LASIK involve removing a part of the cornea to reshape it. If too much tissue is removed, it can weaken the cornea. And lead to a condition known as corneal ectasia, which involves bulging and thinning of the cornea.
- Dry Eye: LASIK can exacerbate dry eye symptoms, especially in those who already experienced them after their PRK surgery. A dry eye can cause discomfort and blurry vision.
- Difficulties Creating the Flap: The LASIK procedure involves creating a corneal flap. However, previous PRK surgery could make this more challenging and may increase the risk of complications related to the flap, such as incomplete or irregular flaps.
- Regression: Over time, the eye can partially undo the changes made during surgery. This will lead to a condition called regression. This could result in a decrease in the quality of vision.
- Increased Sensitivity or Glare: Some patients may experience increased sensitivity to light, halos, or glare, especially in low-light conditions.
- Infection or Inflammation: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection or inflammation, although it is relatively rare with refractive surgeries.
Given these potential risks, it’s crucial to have a thorough discussion with your ophthalmologist, who can assess your personal risk profile based on your corneal thickness, eye health, and healing response after PRK. Alternative procedures may be more suitable depending on your individual circumstances.
How To Prepare For LASIK After PRK Surgery?
If you and your ophthalmologist decide that LASIK is the right choice after PRK. Then, there are several steps to prepare for the procedure:
- Comprehensive Eye Examination
Your eye doctor will perform a thorough examination of your eyes to assess their health and determine if they are suitable for LASIK. This includes measuring your corneal thickness, pupil size, refractive error, and eye pressure. The doctor will also examine your cornea for any scarring or irregularities from the PRK surgery.
- Discuss Medical History
Inform your doctor about your overall health, any medications you are taking, and any health conditions that may affect healing, such as autoimmune disorders.
- Cease Using Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to switch to glasses full-time for a few weeks before your surgery. Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea, which can lead to inaccurate measurements and a less-than-optimal surgical outcome.
- Arrange for Transportation
LASIK is an outpatient procedure, but your vision will be blurry immediately after the surgery, so you’ll need someone to drive you home.
- Avoid Makeup and Fragrances
On the day of the surgery, avoid wearing any eye makeup, creams, or perfumes. These products can interfere with the LASIK procedure and increase the risk of infection.
- Follow Pre-Op Instructions
Your eye doctor will provide specific pre-operative instructions. That may include using certain eye drops or antibiotics. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully.
Remember, thorough preparation is an important step toward a successful LASIK procedure. Don’t hesitate to ask your eye doctor any questions you may have about the preparation process.
Navigating the world of vision correction surgery is no small feat, and the journey doesn’t always end with a single procedure. The option of LASIK after PRK surgery indeed presents an intriguing possibility for those seeking further enhancements to their vision. While LASIK can offer the benefits of quicker recovery and potentially sharper vision. But it is crucial to remember that every individual’s eyes are unique.
With the right guidance and careful deliberation, you can navigate your way to the best decision for your vision correction journey.
Eye surgery is a safe 10-minute procedure to help you get rid of glasses. EyeMantra offers the most advanced eye surgery options including PRK, Femto Lasik, SMILE surgery, Standard lasik, ICL and Contoura vision. If you have any questions on Lasik surgery in Delhi, Lasik surgery cost and Lasik procedure, call us at 9711116605 or email at [email protected].