So PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) was the first "laser eye surgery" developed, and was essentially the father of the now more popular LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). These days PRK is only recommended for patients with relatively thinner corneas. The procedure is carried out by.. well, the folks over at All About Vision do a much better job than I could at explaining it:
"PRK is performed with an excimer laser, which uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove ("ablate") very tiny bits of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. When you reshape the cornea in the right way, it more precisely focuses light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before."Sounds pretty cool huh? Well it's even better now because science (as science always does) has advanced itself (yes, I know... scientists :P).
Read more: http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/prk.htm#ixzz1Ei48ElhK
"LASIK surgery involves the raising of a thin flap of corneal tissue of the eye. In LASIK, the laser treatment is applied to the tissue beneath the flap, whereas in PRK the laser is applied directly onto the corneal surface. The main advantage of LASIK is that the surface of the cornea is not treated, but simply folded back, mimizing post-treatment pain."All About Vision has a really cool little slide show on the procedure, and although they make it seem simple, I think it's a bit more complex and nerve-wracking to actually perform the procedure... or to feel it performed first hand. :|
Oh, and another really cool little bit I found was a pdf on the "Evolution of Refractive Surgery", which details the evolution of the technology from 1989 all the way to 2003. I <3 stats/specs/numbers/figures :D.
Well I hope you guys found this informative and entertaining. I have decided that this procedure is most definitely not for me.. Apparently the average cost is more than $2000, and if that isn't enough to dissuade me (oh, it is), then the list of possible side-effects and complications would. I do not want to have dry eyes for life, you know? Could you imagine what kind of torture that would be?
Still, I learned something, and I hope you guys did too. Thank you all for reading! ^_^