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PhotoRefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

PRK stands for PhotoRefractive Keratectomy, and is a laser vision correction procedure that involves manually scraping the epithelium, or the outermost cornea layer, and reshaping the tissues under the corneal surface. Unlike LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis), a PRK procedure does not involve creating a cornea flap - making it ideal for those with dangerously thin corneas.

There are two main advantages of choosing PRK over other methods: reduced risk of ectasia and no incisions to make a cornea flap. Ectasia is a condition wherein inner eye pressure causes the eye to push against the corneal wall, resulting in bulging eyes and impaired vision. PRK has a reduced risk of ectasia because the procedure does not involve cutting into the cornea. The creation of a cornea flap is the riskiest part of a laser eye surgery. And by eliminating that specific procedure in PRK, patients are exposed to less risk and dangers during the operation.

Types of PRK Procedures

LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratomileusis), is a form of PRK that involves the use of alcohol solution to soften the epithelium and make it easily removable. Then, the excimer laser is used to reshape the stroma and correct the patient\'s vision. Following this, the epithelium layer is once again replaced. Some patients prefer the LASEK method over PRK because of shorter recovery time and faster healing process.

Another PRK procedure is Epi-LASEK, which is actually just a modified version of LASEK. The only difference between the two is, unlike in LASEK, the Epi-LASEK does not entirely remove and replace the epithelium. Instead, the procedure involves preserving an epithelium layer which will be replaced after the stroma is reshaped by the excimer laser. According to some reports, the Epi-LASEK has an even faster recovery and healing time than LASEK. 

If you are planning to undergo a PRK laser eye surgery to correct your vision, researching further information on PRK procedures can help choose which procedure suits your needs best. Most importantly, you should consult your ophthalmologist to get recommendations on which procedure is ideal for you.

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