PRK is the safest way of performing laser Vision Correction. It’s safer than LASIK. Because it’s 100% non-cutting and 100% non-invasive, it’s 10x safer than LASIK.
With PRK none of the feared flap complications that kept me from getting LASIK are even possible–because there’s no cutting a flap to begin with!
In PRK instead of cutting your cornea in half to gain access, and lasering the back of your cornea, the laser merely treats the front surface of your cornea–eliminating the need for the risk of cutting a flap. About 95% of all LASIK complications involve the flap, so by not making a flap, I avoided 95% of all possible complications (including the most serious ones).
LASIK, or another version of LASIK called IntraLase or i-LASIK, are procedures in which the flap is cut with a laser. IntraLase was developed to decrease the chance of complications while cutting the corneal flap. And it works–the risk in IntraLase is less than the risk in LASIK. However, you can never eliminate the risk of cutting a flap unless you actually stop cutting flaps–Dr. Maleka was not prepared to have a flap cut especially when long term (ten and fifteen year results) show PRK to be a safer superior procedure to LASIK and it’s variations.
Like many people wanting to get rid of their contacts and glasses I explored LASIK, but rejected it for increased safety in PRK. Some people are told that they cannot get LASIK or IntraLase because “You’re prescription is too high”, or “You’re cornea is too thin.” most times the reason is that “the amount of tissue we have to waste cutting the flap, plus the amount of tissue we have to remove to eliminate your prescription, would leave your cornea too thin, and unsafe for LASIK or IntraLase.”
By not having a flap cut, Dr. Maleka saved 110-160 microns of his own corneal tissue–which is enough to treat another 10 diopters of prescription. This is why the safe limit for LASIK is about -6, whereas the safe limit for PRK can be more than -12D.
Even if you don’t have a high prescription, PRK is safer for you than LASIK. Why? Because you’ll be left with a much thicker cornea in the end. A thicker cornea means a stronger cornea–for everyone. Published studies have shown that if you get hit in the eye, the chance of your eye rupturing is higher after LASIK than after PRK (because your eye is destabilized and weakened by cutting the LASIK flap).
In addition, PRK avoids the night glare and dry eyes that are sometimes associated with LASIK. Why is this? Again, because PRK avoids cutting into your eye.
Night glare after LASIK is caused by your cornea being in 2 pieces forever, since the LASIK flap is cut, lifted up, put back down–and never fully heals. This is why you can enhance LASIK years later by digging the flap back up–because it never heals. Because of this, after LASIK, light is invariably scattered and refracted by the flap interface. Put another way, the “sandwich” configuration of your cornea is what causes back-scatter of light. This is most noticeable at night–and causes night glare. I chose to avoid this by opting for PRK.
Because your cornea is never cut and no flap is made in PRK, night glare is avoided. In fact, after my PRK, like many of my patients, my night vision is actually better than it was before glasses or contacts!
Dry eyes after LASIK is also caused by cutting the flap. When this cut is made, most of the corneal nerves are cut–and never grow back (nerves are terminally differentiated tissue, and lack the ability to regrow–which is why if you’re truly paralyzed, it’s unfortunately for life). Your eyes are lubricated by the tear film, which is distributed when you blink. But, there is no “clock” in your brain timing blinks. Instead, you blink when you (subconsciously) sense your eye drying out. This is why you cannot keep your eyes open forever–eventually, this sensation of dryness is so powerful, you cannot avoid blinking.
But what happens when you cut most of your corneal nerves? Published studies have shown that normal people blink every 5 seconds–but after LASIK, they blink only every 15 seconds. In fact, they’re staring themselves dry without even knowing it!
In contrast, after PRK, because your cornea and its nerves are never cut, your blink rate afterwards is the same as a normal, unoperated eye–hence, no dry eyes! I can happily say that I have no dry eyes following my PRK.
Dr. MALEKA has also avoided for himself all complications in the operating room by choosing a NO flap procedure(PRK).
PRK and its variants,what Doctors call, an advanced surface ablation(ASA),what we call SafeSight Laser, which is the complicated term for lasering the surface of your cornea to correct your vision rather than having to cut into the eye to laser the eye. This is possible by removing the thin layer of skin that covers your cornea, which will naturally grow back after a few days.
The skin that covers your eye and cornea is the same as the skin on your arm or face. A small amount of softening solution is placed over the center of the eye the skin is allowed to absorb the solution, which loosens the skin cells. After the solution is removed, the skin is gently slid aside with a surgical spatula and removed to expose the cornea, at which point the laser treatment begins and a bandage contact lens is placed over your eyes to aid in healing.
The bandage contact lens is exactly what it sounds like, a lens with no power that acts as a band-aid until your skin has fully regenerated, which usually takes 4 days. Immediately after surgery, like most of my patients, I was legal to drive without the aid of glasses or contacts, there are a few exceptions ie. extremely high prescriptions.
The procedure itself was painless. I started experiencing irritable eyes four hours after the procedure. I think its because I waited for the pain before starting pain drops. I would recommend to avoid the situation by using pain drops even when theres no pain. I would actually not call the experience painful but rather uncomfortable.
Like the majority of my patients, the bandage contact lens was removed on the fourth day.
My conclusion after my own laser experience is: Everyone should actually be having PRK.
By the way, my script was
- Right Eye: -4.00/ -1.50 x 10
- Left Eye: -4.00/ -1.25 x 180
Laser corrective surgery has changed my life:
- I can now use eye equipment with eyepieces without bumping into them with my glasses.
- My golf has improved as my glasses do not fall off anymore when I swing or putt. I can read the lines better as I don’t have astigmatism anymore.
- I can now play with my kids without worrying about glasses falling allover the place.
- I can see better at night.
- I feel that glasses would not get in my way when responding to emergency situations.
- People say I look 5 years younger.
- I can use normal sunglasses.
- I can see well in the rain.
- I dont have to find my glasses just to use the loo in the middle of the night. I always felt like I needed glasses just to find my glasses.
If you interested in having your eyes done by someone who had Eye Laser themselves, Call us on (T)0113465025 or (C)0815455385. Monday- Friday 08h00- 17h00. SafeSight Eye Laser Centre, Waverley, Johannesburg.