Laser Eye Surgery, PRK, LASIK

Top Ten Reasons for PRK

Who can and who can't have this procedure?

PRK is not for everyone. There are a few medical conditions that some people have that make them poor candidates for this procedure. These conditions are rare and can be detected during your pre-procedure examination with what is called a Corneal Map. If a condition exists, it is not wise to proceed and you will be told.

LADARVision Custom CorneaAdditionally, a condition brought on by the aging process called presbyopia, cannot be treated. Presbyopia, simply defined, is the loss of flexibility of your eye lens, causing many people to need reading glasses as they get older.

However, most people can have PRK. After (these conditions) have been ruled out, there are few impediments to a successful procedure.

Following is a short quiz that will give you an idea if you are a possible candidate for PRK. From here, professional advice from a qualified eye surgeon is required.

  1. My correction is:
    • a) + or - 6 or less
    • b) higher than 6
  2. I have
    • a) Slight astigmatism
    • b) Heavy astigmatism
  3. Typically, my body heals
    • a) Quickly
    • b) Slowly

Look at your answers. If you answered mostly a's you are probably a very good candidate. If you answered mostly b's then you may not be, but don't discount it until you have checked it out thoroughly. It may be that you can have PRK, but with lower expectations as to the possibility of being able to see 20/20 after the procedure. It may be that a realistic correction for you to expect is 20/40. This may be completely acceptable to you and your lifestyle.

If any of the following conditions apply to you, you are NOT a good candidate to have PRK:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Unstable refractive error (your vision correction has been changing over the past 12 months).
  • Collagen/Vascular disease.
  • Active ocular disease.
  • Under 20 years of age.
  • Pacemaker users.

I would like to have this procedure done. Can I walk in to a clinic and have it done today?

No. There are some pre-operative procedures that must be completed beforehand. If you are over 40 it is important that you understand that to date PRK cannot correct the need to wear glasses for reading (presbyopia). The tests that must be completed before your PRK procedure are:

  • Eye History & Examination to determine refractive error, absence of eye disease and your expectations of the procedure.
  • Corneal Topography (a topographical map of your eyeballs)
  • Pachymetry
  • Axial length measurements, all by a qualified eye surgeon.

It is essential that contact lenses are removed for the appropriate time before testing.

  • Hard and gas permeable contact lenses should be removed 4 weeks prior to testing and if there is any question as to the stability of the refraction, they should be left out until the refraction is stable.
  • Soft contact lenses should be removed 1 week prior to testing.

What is the best method for correcting vision errors?

There is no "best" method for correcting vision errors. The most appropriate correction for you depends on your eyes and your lifestyle. You should discuss you situation with your ophthalmologist or eye doctor to decide which correction will be most effective for you. Or, contact Dr. Murray at See bottom of this page for additional contact information.

What are some alternate methods of treating vision errors?

  • Contact lenses or glasses.
  • Orthokeratology is a process of treating myopia using a series of hard contact lenses to gradually flatten the cornea and correct the patients vision. Any improvement is temporary. When the lenses are discontinued, the myopia returns because the cornea goes back to its original shape.
  • Radial Keratotomy
  • ALK
  • Lasik
  • Bifocals are glasses that are used to correct presbyopia. The top half of the lens corrects vision for the distance and the bottom half of the lens corrects the vision for seeing objects close up.
  • If you don't need corrective lenses for seeing at a distance but are developing presbyopia, you can solve your problem with over-the-counter reading glasses.
  • Intra-corneal ring (highly experimental)
  • ICL - implantable contact lens (highly experimental)

Top Ten Reasons

  • 1. Freedom from the hassles and inconveniences of contacts or glasses.
  • 2. To save money. Over the years, the costs of lenses, solutions and glasses amounts to thousands of dollars.
  • 3. To save time. In one year, the average contact lens wearer spends nearly 60 hours wetting, soaking, rubbing, cleaning and otherwise maintaining them. This is about 2.5 whole days!
  • 4. To wake up in the morning and see the clock.
  • 5 To go swimming, scuba diving etc. and be able to see things.
  • 6. To be able to spontaneously go camping or stay overnight.
  • 7. To be able to take a nap when the mood strikes without first having to remove lenses, etc.
  • 8. To be able to see while putting on makeup or shaving.
  • 9. To participate in outdoor sports without glasses that fog or get splashed with rain or lenses that dry out in the wind.
  • 10. To avoid the negative consequences of long term contact lens wear.
For detailed information with actual photos of the LASIK procedure, please visit our sister web site

For more information contact:
Dr. Murray McFadden
(BSc, MD, FRCS(C), Diplomate of the American
Board of Ophthalmology)

© Copyright 1996-2005 Murray McFadden MD, Inc.

Telephone: (604) 530-3332
Fax: (604) 535-6258
SnailMail: 20434 64th Avenue, Unit #201,
Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1N4

This page last updated on September 29, 2004.
Web Page Programmer Turnaround Type and Graphics

Murray McFadden MD., Inc. provides Online information by way of Internet for communication and review purposes only. Murray McFadden MD., Inc. does not have editorial control over and has not participated in the development of the materials provided here, other than those materials copyrighted in favour of Murray McFadden MD., Inc. himself, nor has Murray McFadden MD., Inc. exerted any control or participated in the development of other Internet sites which may contain informational materials of a similar nature to those found here. Murray McFadden MD., Inc. disclaims any and all liability for any injury or other damages which may result from the communication or review of information contained here.

Materials produced here are not intended to provide medical information. Rather, the materials are presented for informational purposes only. None of the materials presented may be relied upon by any person for any medical, diagnostic or treatment reasons whatsoever. None of the materials presented here may be relied upon by any person for purpose other than informational purposes without the express written consent of Dr. Murray McFadden or the person indicated as the owner of the relevant materials. Dr. Murray McFadden disclaims any liability for any injury or other damages resulting from the review or use of the information obtained here. Dr. Murray McFadden asks that any person reviewing the materials presented here obtain specific medical advice and answers to specific medical questions, by a qualified eye doctor.