Q. Repeat PRK or Photorefractive Keratotomy possible? Hi, welcome this is Dr. Khanna. I’m going to speak to you about a very interesting topic which came up this morning. Somebody who ten years ago had PRK which is photorefractive keratectomy. If you remember, PRK came before Lasik about 20 to 25 years ago. I remember doing my first one in 1997 or so. At that time, we did not have all the advanced lasers that we do now, nor did we have advanced medicines and drops like today, so a lot of the experiences patients had with PRK was very bad. In fact, that’s why we don’t do PRK today and we’ve gone on to Super Lasik, Epi Lasik or Laser Scraper modifications. Today, it’s a much more comfortable journey.
The topic we are coming to is, if you had PRK 10, 15, or 20 years ago and you need a touch up, what’s the best option? The best option would depend on your age. Let’s say you’re in your 40s, the touch up is likely to be less than one or two diopters. In those cases, we would to have to check your cornea with the latest methods of pachymetry and topography mapping to see if, by any chance, Lasik is possible. Ninety percent of the time, PRK might have been done because Lasik was not an option, but there might be 10% of cases that were done because Lasik was unavailable, or the surgeon was not very confident with Lasik at the time.
It’s important to come for a full exam so we can analyze what’s best for you. There are some people who will have corneal weakening or excess refractive numbers, in those cases you would want to see if implantable collamer lens (ICL) might be an option. Let’s say you’re about 55, then before we do a laser touch up, we would first have to discuss other options like presbyopic implants.
Yes, I missed the one age range for 40 to 55, right? That’s interesting because in that group there can be multiple options available and we’ll have to discuss your lifestyle, look at the numbers, and then come up with a better solution. There is no fixed answer for that age group.
As a summary, if you’re less than 40, laser touch up with PRK or rarely with Lasik, might be an option. If you’re above 55, presbyopia implants might be the first option. In 40 to 55, one of these previous two options might work depending on your lifestyle.
If you have any more questions about PRK, Lasik, touch ups or enhancements, feel free to write to us. Thank you and have a wonderful day.
Did you feel that earthquake? Yes, we were rocked by an earthquake with the epicenter being near Channel Islands. We were very lucky, we didn’t have any injuries, and nothing broke down. But, two patients came today with some interesting observations and stories and I wanted to relate them to you.
One patient recently had Lasik with us. He said when the earthquake struck he was one of the special invitees who has the alarm on his phone which goes off a few seconds before an earthquake strikes. He was able to pack his bag and rush out of the building before the earthquake struck. The second patient who came said yesterday he realized why we should have Lasik eye surgery.
He had just taken off his glasses and was rubbing his eyes or something like that when the earthquake struck. When everybody started rushing out, he ran out as well; however, he couldn’t see well because he wasn’t wearing his glasses causing him to hit his head on the door as a result.
He came in today saying, now I need Lasik eye surgery. This is just one of the examples I’ve come across in my twenty-six years helping people see better. One of the small things in life which can change when you have better vision during some big things like a natural calamity like in a storm, Hurricane Katrina, et cetera. Or, an earthquake like yesterday.
When vision becomes one of the most important things in regards to our safety, it’s at that time that we realize how important it is for our emergency responders like firefighters to have good vision when they run into smoke, rubble, and fire to save people.
I’m sure you have other interesting stories where either you’ve already experienced the benefits of having Lasik eye surgery, or you wish you had Lasik eye surgery. We would love to hear from you, so send us your stories.
Lasik Earthquake Safety lesson is over
Thank you. This is Dr. Khanna signing off.