Prk

What is PRK?

PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. Often used synonymously with Epi-LASIK, it is a form of advanced surface ablation which reshapes the cornea and corrects any refractive error without creation of a flap.

How does PRK work?

During PRK surgery, the layer of epithelium is gently removed and a corrective laser is then applied to reshape the cornea to correct any refractive error. The epithelium is then allowed to heal, restoring visual clarity.

What are the benefits of PRK (Epi-LASIK)?

Benefits of PRK include:

  • Freedom from glasses and contact lenses
  • No risk of flap related complications e.g. Flap dislocation, flap striae, epithelial ingrowth
  • Tissue saving as none of the corneal tissue is used for flap creation
  • May be more suitable in patients with thin corneas
  • May have less dry eyes compared with LASIK

Who is a good candidate for PRK?

A thorough assessment should be done before proceeding with any laser vision correction. In general, a suitable candidate for PRK surgery includes patients who:

  • More than 18 years old
  • Healthy corneas
  • Stable vision and refractive errors
  • Keen to be free of glasses or contact lenses
  • Keen to avoid LASIK flap related complications
  • Understands the initial discomfort and longer recovery period
Want to find out more? Browse our FAQs
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Why Dr Val Phua at Eagle Eye Centre?

  • Dr Val Phua is a Singapore Medical Council (SMC) accredited eye specialist, a consultant ophthalmologist and cataract and refractive surgery specialist with Eagle Eye Centre
  • He has received numerous recommendations and referrals from satisfied patients
  • He provides personalised care throughout the treatment journey
  • He is supported by more than 90 staff at Eagle Eye Centre to ensure a seamless experience to achieve your vision goals

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Read Articles on PRK,
Post Surgery Recovery & More.

Epi-LASIK: How Does It Work?

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by: Matt Collamer Epi-LASIK surgery is one of the options for laser vision correction. While…

5 Reasons Why PRK Could Be The Safest And Best Option For You

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by:  Picsea In Singapore, PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) surgery is a popular procedure to achieve freedom…

ReLEx SMILE: How Does It Work?

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by: Antonino Visalli ReLex SMILE surgery is one of the options for laser vision correction.…
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7 Things You Should Know About ReLEx SMILE Surgery In Singapore

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5 Reasons Why ReLex SMILE Is The Least Invasive Laser Vision Correction Procedure

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by:  Sam Manns In Singapore, ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) surgery is a popular…

5 Key Things To Know About Lasik In Singapore

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by: Glen Noble In Singapore, LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a popular procedure to…

5 Important Things To Know Before Getting LASIK For Presbyopia

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by: MontyLov In Singapore, LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a popular procedure to achieve…

7 Reasons why I stopped wearing contact lenses

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Contact lenses were my go to alternative to achieve clear vision without glasses until i realised…

7 Reasons why I got rid of my glasses

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS I have always needed to wear glasses to see clearly due to myopia, otherwise my world…

Looking for a roadmap to glasses freedom? What does it take and how do you get there?

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Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS Photo by: Alexandra Gorn A lot of people say they fear the dark, but what they…

The devil is in the details; How PRK differs from LASIK

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PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) and LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) are 2 very popular choices for laser vision correction. They are indeed “same same but different”…

Fed up with messing around with contact lens? Laser vision correction and its alternatives may help!

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Contact lens wear has long been the sought after solution to being free from glasses. It is reasonably simple to put them on but with…

Should athletes go for laser vision correction

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Having played water polo for a good part of my life, the multiple intensive training sessions, both day and night, I look back now as…

Reading glasses; are they really the inevitable?

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It usually begins at about 40 years old. The distance at which you hold your favourite book or magazine gets progressively further and further away…

Pressed for time but can’t stand wearing glasses or contact lenses? Femto-LASIK may be your answer; the recovery is faster than you expect

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Time is a precious commodity that can never be gained back once it is lost. Given the immense pressure to be productive and excel, taking…

How does SMILE lead to better vision?

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SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a newer technique for laser vision correction compared with LASIK and it is able to correct both myopia as…

LASIK! Everyone around you seems to be going for it and you may think it is the only available choice, but it is not! What are your other available options?

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LASIK is the most popular choice for laser vision correction and many have undergone this procedure with deeply satisfying results. It almost seems like there…

Missed the boat for LASIK? Don’t worry there is a cruise coming!

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Don’t do it; it’s too risky, too expensive, you have too much at stake The real cost of laser vision correction

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Is LASIK the definitive answer to common problems such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism?

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LASIK is the most well known procedure for laser vision correction. Surgery itself is quick, requiring only 10-15 minutes per eye and recovery is with…

Astigmatism & Laser vision correction; Can it be done?

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Astigmatism (散光) is a common refractive problem and majority of people have it to some degree. If present in small amounts, it may not be…

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FAQs – PRK

What is PRK?
PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. It is a form of advanced surface ablation which reshapes the cornea and corrects any refractive error without creation of a flap.

What are the benefits of PRK?
Benefits of PRK include:

  • Freedom from glasses and contact lenses
  • No risk of flap related complications e.g. Flap dislocation, flap striae, epithelial ingrowth
  • Tissue saving as none of the corneal tissue is used for flap creation
  • May be more suitable in patients with thin corneas
  • May have less dry eyes compared with LASIK

What can you expect with PRK?
PRK surgery has a different recovery profile compared with LASIK. In PRK, some slight discomfort can be expected in the initial 3-5 days. A special contact lens is placed to aid healing and reduce discomfort. Antibiotic and steroid eye drops are given to prevent infection and reduce inflammation during the recovery period. Vision tends to stabilise over 3 months.

When can i go back to work? How much leave do i need to take?
Recovery from PRK surgery takes slightly longer with many resting for 3-5 days before returning to work. This time off needed varies from each individual as each person heals differently. During this period of recovery, a medical certificate is issued cover any absence from work.

Is PRK surgery painful?
PRK surgery itself is painless due to the numbing eye drops given before surgery begins. After PRK surgery, there may be some discomfort in the initial 3-5 days of recovery. A special contact lens is placed to aid healing and reduce this discomfort.

What will I see during the procedure?
During PRK surgery, you will be given a target light to focus on. This may be a blinking green or red light. Focusing on this target light keeps your eyes perfectly aligned for the corrective laser to be accurately applied.

What precautions do I need to take after PRK Surgery?
After PRK surgery, it is important to avoid eye rubbing and to keep the prescribed eye drops going as planned. Goggles are given and should be used at night to prevent eye rubbing during sleeping hours.

Will PRK surgery cause scarring?
In the early recovery period, there may be some mild haze that can be seen under the microscope after PRK surgery. This tends to fade with time as the eye heals. No scarring is usually seen after full recovery.

What happens during an assessment for suitability for PRK?
During an assessment, a detailed history will be taken from you and specialised test to gather data on suitability will be done. This includes checking your visual acuity, refraction, cycloplegic refraction, corneal thickness, corneal topography, pupillometry, eye anterior segment examination, dilated fundus examination. Based on the assessment results, Dr Val Phua will then have a detailed discussion on the various options for laser vision correction and recommend a suitable treatment to meet your vision goals.

How does PRK work?
During PRK surgery, the layer of epithelium is gently removed and a corrective laser is then applied to reshape the cornea to correct any refractive error. The epithelium is then allowed to heal, restoring visual clarity.

Who is a good candidate for PRK?
A thorough assessment should be done before proceeding with any laser vision correction. In general, a suitable candidate for PRK surgery includes patients who:

  • More than 18 years old
  • Healthy corneas
  • Stable vision and refractive errors
  • Keen to be free of glasses or contact lenses
  • Keen to avoid LASIK flap related complications
  • Understands the initial discomfort and longer recovery period

What are the risks of PRK?
Risks of PRK surgery include:

  • Glare and halos
  • Dry eyes
  • Vision fluctuation
  • Under or over-correction
  • Infection
  • Corneal ectasia

When can i go back to exercising?
During each follow up consultation after PRK surgery, the recovery process is assessed and advise given on when returning to exercising is suitable. Most patients are able to return to running, jogging and gyming within a week. Swimming should be avoided during the early recovery period.

What are the chances of being glasses free after PRK surgery?
Significant improvement of vision is expected after PRK surgery compared to the previous unaided vision without glasses or contact lenses. About 99% will no longer need glasses or contact lenses to meet legal requirements for driving.

What if I move or blink during PRK surgery?
Modern day lasers come equipped with an eye tracker which can track your eyes in up to 7 dimensions. Any movement of the eye out of the defined treatment zone instantly stops the laser from firing until the eye is properly positioned again. Gentle blinking during PRK surgery is acceptable as long as there is no effort to tightly squeeze the eyelids closed.

Can PRK surgery treat astigmatism?
PRK surgery is able to treat hyperopia (long-sightedness), myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism.

Can PRK surgery treat presbyopia (lao hua yen)?
There is a role for PRK surgery in treating presbyopia and achieving glasses freedom. This is in the form of monovision where one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye corrected for near vision. Patients may simulate this with a trial of contact lenses before undergoing PRK surgery.