If you want better vision but LASIK is not the right fit, Eye Physician of Long Beach has expertise in all the options that may be just right for you! If a patient has a thin cornea or if there is not enough corneal tissue, our Doctors may suggest LASEK or PRK.
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)
PRK was the first laser refractive surgery to be approved by the FDA. In this procedure, an excimer laser is used to help reshape the cornea in order to improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK in that no corneal flap is created.
- The first step of the procedure is for the Doctor to ‘numb’ the eye with a local anesthetic.
- After the eye has been successfully anesthetized, the Doctor places a diluted alcohol solution on the outer surface of the cornea. This outer layer, called the epithelium, is then lifted out of the way.
- The excimer laser is used to make the necessary vision correction. Since the epithelium is removed during PRK, the healing time is longer than with LASIK and there can be more discomfort.
Louisiana State University (LSU) piloted FDA trials on PRK. Dr. Martinez had the privilege of being mentored by Dr. Marguerite McDonald, who performed the world’s first PRK procedure.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
PRK LASEK is another excellent alternative to LASIK that provides excellent vision quality. Like PRK, LASEK does not involve the surgeon creating a corneal flap. Instead, a thin layer of superficial cells is lifted, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea and the layer is then repositioned.
Since the treatment is performed on the surface of the eye, the healing time for LASEK is longer than LASIK. A contact lens may be placed in your eye to help begin the healing process.