Photorefractive Keratectomy at Yaletown EyeCare

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Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a vision correction procedure that can help patients achieve clearer, sharper vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. As an alternative to other refractive surgery options like LASIK, PRK has been a popular choice for many individuals seeking improved vision. At Yaletown EyeCare, we offer comprehensive services for patients considering PRK, including preoperative assessments and postoperative care.

Photorefractive Keratectomy in Canada

PRK has been performed in Canada for over two decades, and it has become an increasingly popular choice for vision correction. While specific statistics on PRK procedures in Canada are limited, studies have reported high patient satisfaction rates and excellent visual outcomes following PRK surgery. The procedure is regulated by Canadian health authorities and subject to strict safety standards, ensuring that patients receive high-quality care.

How Photorefractive Keratectomy Works

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a laser vision correction surgery that reshapes the cornea to improve vision. Here’s a summary of the procedure:

  1. Preparation: The eye is numbed with anesthetic eye drops, cleaned, and a sterile drape is placed.
  2. Epithelium removal: The outermost layer of the cornea (epithelium) is gently removed using a surgical instrument, alcohol solution, or laser.
  3. Corneal reshaping: An excimer laser precisely removes corneal tissue to reshape the cornea’s curvature based on the patient’s refractive error.
  4. Postoperative care: A therapeutic soft contact lens is placed on the eye for healing, and antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops are prescribed.

PRK corrects refractive errors by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser. It alters the cornea’s curvature to focus light rays accurately on the retina.

  • Nearsightedness: PRK flattens the cornea to correctly focus light on the retina.
  • Farsightedness: PRK steepens the cornea to redirect light onto the retina.
  • Astigmatism: PRK reshapes the cornea into a more regular shape, improving vision.

PRK is an effective vision correction procedure that uses advanced technology to reshape the cornea and improve visual acuity.

Candidacy for PRK

Determining whether a patient is a suitable candidate for PRK depends on several factors, including corneal thickness, the degree of refractive error, and the presence of any medical conditions or eye abnormalities that may affect the results of the surgery. To determine candidacy, a thorough eye examination and consultation with one of our experienced optometrists at Yaletown EyeCare are essential.

PRK Preoperative Assessment at Yaletown EyeCare

Comprehensive Preoperative Evaluation and Consultation

At Yaletown EyeCare, our experienced optometrists conduct a thorough preoperative assessment to determine if a patient is a suitable candidate for PRK. This evaluation includes:

  • Review of the patient’s medical history, including ocular health and previous eye surgeries
  • Assessment of the patient’s refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism)
  • Detailed examination of the cornea, including corneal thickness measurements and topography
  • Assessment of other eye structures, such as the retina and optic nerve

Ensuring Patient Understanding of the Procedure, Potential Risks, and Expected Outcomes

Our optometrists at Yaletown EyeCare are committed to ensuring that patients fully understand the PRK procedure, its potential risks, and expected outcomes before proceeding with the surgery. We discuss:

  • The PRK procedure, step by step
  • Potential risks and complications associated with PRK
  • Expected outcomes and potential visual improvements
  • Any alternatives to PRK that may be more suitable for the patient’s individual circumstances

Referral to Trusted Ophthalmologists for PRK Surgery if Appropriate

If it is determined that a patient is an appropriate candidate for PRK, Yaletown EyeCare refers them to a trusted ophthalmologist specializing in refractive surgery. We facilitate the referral process, ensuring a seamless transition and maintaining open communication with the surgical team.

PRK Postoperative Care and Management

The Role of Yaletown EyeCare in Postoperative Care and Monitoring

Following PRK surgery, Yaletown EyeCare plays a vital role in postoperative care, monitoring the patient’s progress throughout the healing process. Our optometrists:

  • Assess corneal healing and overall ocular health after surgery
  • Monitor visual acuity improvements and stabilization
  • Address any concerns or questions the patient may have during their recovery

Required Follow-up Appointments and Vision Assessments after PRK

Postoperative follow-up appointments and vision assessments are crucial to ensuring the best possible outcomes after PRK. At Yaletown EyeCare, we schedule and conduct follow-up appointments at regular intervals, including:

  • 2-week post-surgery
  • 1-month post-surgery
  • 3 months post-surgery
  • 6 months post-surgery
  • 1-year post-surgery

Additional appointments may be scheduled as needed, depending on the patient’s progress and any concerns that may arise.

Management of Potential Postoperative Complications

Although complications are rare after PRK, some potential issues may arise during the recovery period. Yaletown EyeCare’s optometrists are experienced in managing postoperative complications, such as:

  • Dry eye syndrome: Recommending appropriate lubricating eye drops and management strategies
  • Infections: Prescribing antibiotic eye drops to treat possible infections and monitoring the healing process
  • Corneal haze: Monitoring corneal haze progression and, if necessary, recommending additional treatments to improve vision

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If you are interested in learning more about our PRK services or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Yaletown EyeCare.