What types of conditions will benefit from PRK Surgery?
What does the procedure involve?
The laser procedure is quick and easy only requiring topical anaesthetic drops. Recovery time is slightly longer than for LASIK. The eyes may be uncomfortable for a few days and visual recovery may take a couple of weeks in some instances. This procedure is preferred in some cases, such as if the patient has a thin cornea, a high refractive error, or to avoid flap complications. This method differs from LASIK in that a corneal flap is not created. There is no cutting of the cornea to create a flap. The laser sculpts the surface of the cornea. Laser treatments are carried out in our licensed, accredited day surgery centre with observation of full operating theatre standards.
We offer two forms of surface laser treatment:
The surface layer of cells (epithelium) is gently removed and the underlying cornea is sculpted using the Schwind Amaris Excimer laser in accordance with the patient’s individual refractive error. A bandage contact lens is placed on the cornea at the end of the procedure and is kept in place for about 5 days.
- Trans-Epithelial ‘No Touch’ Laser
This procedure is unique to the Schwind Amaris 750S Excimer laser. The laser in ‘one-step’ removes the epithelium (surface layer) and does the laser correction concurrently. The advantages of this technique are the precise removal of epithelium allowing for faster healing and the manual aspects of the PRK procedure are minimised, making it a ‘no-touch’ procedure.
What equipment is used?
Is it covered by Medicare?
Many refractive surgery procedures are not covered under health insurance and Medicare.
Our staff can provide details of this at your consultation. You may be eligible for a tax rebate of 20% on any medical expenses over $1500 incurred in one year. Please discuss this further with your tax accountant. The cost of all surgical procedures will be discussed with our administrative staff on the day of your consultation. Our specialised clinical staff is available to answer any further questions regarding laser treatment.
What are the risks?
As with any surgical procedure there are risks to consider before having surgery. Technology and surgical techniques have reduced these risks to a very low level however, these need to be considered.
- Over or under correction
In adjusting the focus of the eye over or under correction or natural regression can occur. In this case an enhancement procedure may be suggested to improve the result.
Infection of the eye following refractive surgery is rare but if it occurs prompt treatment is necessary. We suggest that the patient is available for follow up for at least one week after surgery.
- Corneal Haze
The cornea may develop haze as part of the healing process. Drops will be used for some weeks to control this. The haze reaction is usually minor but may occasionally take weeks to months to resolve.
Very rarely corneal melting and corneal ectasia can occur.
What are the benefits
The advantages of the Trans-Epithelial technique are the precise removal of epithelium allowing for faster healing and the manual aspects of the PRK procedure are minimised, making it a ‘no-touch’ procedure.