Potential risks with PRK surgery

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Just about everyone who undergoes photorefractive surgery will experience some visual side effects. These effects are usually very minimal and don’t last long. The most common side effects are sensitivity to light, and halos appearing around lights. Also, there’s a very small chance of infection and delayed healing after surgery, but these are treatable and pose no long-term problems. Other possible side effects include dry eyes, difficulty seeing at night, and glaring. Although PRK (P-R-K) is very precise and highly successful in correcting vision problems, the results can’t be guaranteed. It’s not possible to predict exactly how your eyes will respond to laser surgery and, therefore, you may still need corrective lenses after the procedure. Be aware that if you ever need contact lenses later in life, they can cause some discomfort after having the surgery. Another point to consider is that PRK surgery is relatively new, and no tests have been conducted for long-term effects. Scientists have no way of knowing if our corrected vision will hold up after 10 or 20 years. In fact, your vision may actually change over a short period of time after the PRK procedure, so you may need to have a second surgery. Remember that the risk of having a serious complication from PRK is minimal, but it’s important to talk with an optometrist or ophthalmologist (off-thal-MALL-oh-jist) before deciding to undergo surgery.

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