If you are interested in laser vision correction but are not an ideal candidate for LASIK, then there are other procedures you may consider: PRK or Refractive Lens Exchange. Our LASIK surgeons, Drs. John DeStafeno and Brian Shafer, will guide you in selecting the option that is most appropriate for you and your vision goals.
Similar to LASIK, PRK reshapes the cornea to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK in that PRK does not require a corneal flap. Instead, the entire outer layer of the cornea is removed, and then the vision correcting laser is applied to the exposed cornea.
The PRK procedure typically takes about 15 minutes. Both eyes are usually done on the same day. After surgery, a bandage contact lens is applied to protect the eye as the cornea heals. Results of PRK are similar to LASIK, but it does require a longer healing process so that the outer layer of the cornea can regenerate. Improvement in vision may be seen in a few days or, in some cases, a few weeks.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), also known as clear lens exchange, is an alternative to LASIK for people who have presbyopia and farsightedness, particularly those over the age of 40. During the RLE procedure, the natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. There are different artificial lenses to choose from depending on your individual vision needs, all of which your surgeon will review with you. These artificial lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. An added benefit of RLE is that since it is an artificial lens being used, cataracts will be unable to develop.
The Refractive Lens Exchange procedure typically takes about 15 minutes. It differs from LASIK in that only one eye is done at a time. The second eye will generally be done a week after the first eye. Recovery is quick for RLE, and most people see an improvement in their vision within the same day of the surgery.
To discuss whether PRK or Refractive Lens Exchange would be right for you, please call us at (610) 696-1230 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.