PRK Laser Eye Surgery Melbourne

State-of-the-art, cutting edge PRK surgery is a once in a lifetime investment.

Dr Joanne Goh is a leading PRK laser eye surgery and vision correction specialist in Melbourne, Victoria. PRK surgery can help to correct common vision impairments and set you free from glasses. For the best results in your PRK laser eye surgery procedure, always consult with a highly qualified ophthalmologist.

What is PRK laser eye surgery?

Dr Joanne Goh using the excimer laser.

For those who may not be suitable candidates for LASIK, PRK is another safe alternative. PRK differs from LASIK in that no flap is created, but instead, the excimer laser ablation is applied directly onto the surface of the cornea after the surface cells (epithelium) has been removed. Hence, they are also known as surface treatments or advanced surface laser ablation (ASLA).

Like in LASIK, the excimer laser re-shapes the surface of the cornea in an extremely precise fashion, correcting for your refractive error. This changes the curvature of the cornea, and hence the focus of the eye. This improved focus of the eye allows you to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

How do I know if I am suitable for PRK?

To be a suitable candidate for PRK laser vision correction, you should:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a stable spectacle or contact lens prescription for at least a year
  • Have healthy eyes
  • Not be pregnant or breastfeeding

There are limits as to how much myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism that can be corrected with PRK laser eye surgery. This can only be determined at your laser eye surgery assessment.

To determine your suitability for PRK laser eye treatment, you will need to come in for a detailed eye assessment. At this visit, you will first see our optometrist who will perform tests to determine your refraction, corneal shape, thickness and other corneal parameters. This is followed by a consultation with Dr Goh where the health of your eyes will be assessed, and the results of these tests will be reviewed and discussed in detail with you.

When is PRK recommended over LASIK?

PRK is the procedure of choice if:

  • You have thin or abnormally shaped corneas
  • You have severe dry eyes
  • There is superficial scarring of the cornea (e.g. from a previous infection)
  • You engage in contact sports or have an occupation where there is a high risk of traumatic flap dislodgement where LASIK may not be advisable

How do the results of PRK differ from LASIK?

There is more discomfort and recovery of vision is much slower with PRK compared with LASIK. The eyes are usually sore and light sensitive for the first 3 days as the epithelium re-grows and the surface heals. Vision is blurred during this healing phase and usually recovers within 1 week although it continues to improve for several weeks after surgery. Despite the longer recovery time, the long-term results of both LASIK and PRK are equally good.

How is no-touch, no-incision, bladeless PRK performed?

Dr Goh performs PRK laser eye surgery using the the Schwind Amaris 1050RS excimer laser which is not only the world’s most advanced laser platform but also the only touch-free laser eye correction technology available. Unlike conventional PRK methods such as alcohol-assisted PRK, LASEK or epi-LASIK, PRK performed with the Schwind Amaris 1050RS removes the epithelium as well as performs the re-shaping of the cornea, all in a single step without the use of alcohol, suction, flap or blade. This allows for a gentler, less-invasive and more comfortable experience for you. This touch-free, single step laser eye treatment is known as trans-PRK (transepithelial-PRK).

WHY CHOOSE DR JOANNE GOH?

Specialist refractive surgeon
Specialist refractive surgeon
The most important consideration when deciding on your eye specialist is selecting the surgeon with the right expertise, skill and experience. Dr Goh is a leading expert in laser eye and lens implant surgery who has been fellowship trained at international centres of excellence, guaranteeing you the highest level of surgical expertise and care.
Personalised care
Personalised care
Unlike at some larger laser eye clinics, where you may only meet the surgeon on the day of your surgery, you can expect personalised care at every step of your journey. You will be seen by Dr Goh at all of your pre and post-operative appointments.
Customised treatment
Customised treatment
We customise all individual treatments to give you the best possible vision. We also offer a complete range of vision correction options tailored to your needs if laser eye surgery isn’t suitable for you.
Cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology
Cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology
We use the latest, state-of-the-art technology in your assessment, treatment planning and surgery. Your laser eye surgery is performed using the world’s most advanced laser eye technology available on the market, German engineered Schwind Amaris 1050RS excimer laser.
We are committed to helping you achieve your goal of 20/20 vision
We are committed to helping you achieve your goal of 20/20 vision
We routinely analyse our outcomes using sophisticated eye analysis softwares to continually monitor and refine our calculations and techniques to ensure that our patients achieve the best possible visual outcomes.
Specialised team
Specialised team
We have a team of experienced ophthalmologists each with their own subspecialty expertise enabling us to provide you with holistic eye care.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR PRK ASSESSMENT

So, you’ve decided that glasses and contact lenses no longer suit your lifestyle and you wish to have the freedom of clear vision without all the hassle of visual aids. What next?

Initial Assessment

Our qualified optometrist will take a detailed history and perform a range of diagnostic tests to assess your suitability for PRK surgery.

Comprehensive Assessment

Dr Goh will perform a comprehensive dilated eye examination, review test results with you, discuss treatment options and recommend the procedure best suited to you. You will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered at this appointment. If you are not suitable for PRK, Dr Goh will also discuss alternate treatment options. A valid referral from your GP or optometrist is required to claim a Medicare rebate for this consultation.

Booking Your Surgery

At the end of your appointment with Dr Goh, you will receive a quote and written information on the recommended procedure to allow you to make an informed decision. You may proceed to book in your surgery, or get back to us at any time when you are ready.

Booking a consultation

If you’d like to find out if you are suitable for PRK eye surgery, please contact us on (03) 8080 1082 to book a consultation at one of our eye clinics in Melbourne, Victoria, or click on the button below to request a call back.

PRK FAQs:

Laser eye surgery is considered discretionary surgery and therefore does not attract any Medicare rebates, unless it is used to treat certain eye diseases. There are, however, a limited number of health funds that will cover some or all of the cost of laser eye surgery. Listed below are some of the health funds that offer their members a rebate for laser eye surgery. This information is accurate at the time of publication, but it is subject to change by the individual health funds, so it is always worth contacting your health fund to check if you are eligible for any rebates.

Health Fund Cover type Procedures Waiting period Covered
BUPA Ultimate Hospital and Ultimate Extras Cover LASIK, PRK & SMILE 12 months for current members, 36 months for new members after July 1 2018 Full cost of surgery
Medibank Private Ultra Health Cover LASIK, PRK and LASEK 36 months Up to $3500
Defence Health Top Extras LASIK and PRK 12 months Up to $1000 per person
AHM Lifestyle Extras and Super Extra Laser eye surgery 24 months $600 per eye under Lifestyle Extras and $900 per eye under Super Extras
HBF Ultimate Cover (available to members in WA only) LASIK, PRK and ICL 12 months Full cost of surgery

Your surgery fee includes:

  • All postoperative aftercare appointments with Dr Goh for 12 months.
  • All tests and investigations carried out within the first year of surgery.
  • Any enhancements required within the first year of surgery.

We accept payment by EFTPOS, credit card, cash, direct bank deposit or bank cheques.

We understand that the cost of laser eye surgery can be a significant upfront cost for many. If cost is an issue, please speak to one of our staff members for interest-free finance options.

A referral is not necessary for your initial LASIK assessment. You will need a valid referral to claim a Medicare rebate for your consultation with Dr Goh. A referral can be obtained from your optometrist, General Practitioner, or another ophthalmologist. A referral from your optometrist with a record of your last spectacle prescription is very helpful in determining the stability of your refraction in the last 12 months and helps us understand any concerns you may have regarding your eyes and vision. Having a referral from your GP or optometrist also allows Dr Goh to have a dialogue with your health care practitioners as we value their input in your care.

We understand that undergoing laser eye surgery can be an anxious time for some patients and having access to a helpline is an important factor when considering laser eye surgery. All patients having surgery with Dr Goh will be given a detailed postoperative aftercare information sheet which will contain Dr Goh’s personal mobile number to contact should you have any concerns at any stage after your surgery. All emergency numbers will also be listed.

We also operate an open-door policy, wherein if there are any concerns outside of your routine visits, Dr Goh would be very happy to see you in the rooms at no extra cost. Just give us a call; we would rather hear from you than have you worry.

If you wear contact lenses, please leave them out for at least a week for soft lenses and 2 weeks for soft toric and rigid gas permeable lenses. The reason for this is that contact lenses alter the curvature of your cornea. Removing your lenses allows your cornea to assume its normal shape and allows us to take accurate measurements of your eye.

Please bring your current glasses with you and records of previous spectacle prescriptions over the last 1 year, or longer if available, which can be obtained from your optometrist.

Dr Goh performs laser eye surgery at the Manningham Private Hospital in Templestowe Lower. This facility is fully accredited, which means if you have the appropriate level of cover, your health fund will be able to offer rebates for surgery performed in this facility. See FAQ 1.

Your PRK surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure at the Manningham Private Hospital. The procedure itself takes approximately 5 mins for each eye but you should expect to stay for at least 2 hours to allow for pre and post-operative examination and counselling.

The procedure is performed with local anaesthetic eye drops and you may request for an oral sedative if required. You will lie comfortably on a bed and Dr Goh will talk you through each step of the procedure.

We recommend that you have someone to drive you home as your vision will be blurry.

Your eyelid will be held open by an eyelid clip so you won’t have to worry about blinking. This can be slightly uncomfortable initially, but you will soon forget about it and you may think you are blinking normally even though your eyelids are held open.

The laser has iris recognition and active eye-tracking systems that closely follow and compensate for any eye movement throughout the procedure to ensure precise and accurate placement of the laser treatment. Even though it follows every smallest movement of the eye, it is important to try and keep as still as possible and maintain fixation at the green flashing light to stay on track.

If you do make a large enough eye movement, the laser detects this and automatically cuts out. Treatment can be safely resumed once your eye is brought back into position.

Your eyes will often feel gritty, watery and sensitive to light for a few days after PRK surgery so we recommend that you spend the next few days resting at home. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to prevent infection and assist with healing. You will also be given lubricating drops to help with comfort as your eyes will feel a little dry over the next few weeks. A pair of eye shields will be provided to wear overnight for the first 5 nights after PRK surgery to protect against accidental rubbing during sleep.

Your post-operative appointments will typically be 3 days, 1 month and 3 months after your PRK eye surgery. In between these visits, if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to answer your queries or arrange for you to have another appointment with Dr Goh.

We recommend that you take a week off work as recovery from PRK is slower and there is more discomfort as the surface epithelium regenerates. The initial visual recovery takes 1 week, after which time most people are able to return to work and driving.

At the end of your PRK procedure, your vision will be quite blurry. Your eyes will also be watery, irritated and light sensitive for the first few days after treatment as the new epithelial layer regenerates. Vision may be variable for the first week while the surface heals but it usually gets worse between days 2 and 4 as the epithelium grows back over the middle of the cornea. It will then gradually improve over the next few weeks. In some cases it may take up to 3 months for your refraction to completely stabilize. Most people are able to go back to work and resume normal activities a week after surgery.

Approximately two-thirds of patients reach driving level vision a week after surgery, with almost all patients achieving driving level vision between two and four weeks. Individual advice will be provided at your appointment to ensure that you meet the driving standards.

Laser eye surgery alters the shape of the cornea to improve the focus of your eye for distance vision, whereas presbyopia occurs due to natural age-related changes in the lens of the eye. Therefore, laser eye surgery does not treat presbyopia. If you are presbyopic and wish to have laser eye surgery to correct your distance vision, Dr Goh will advise you of options to increase your spectacle independence.

PRK and LASIK both correct your vision by re-shaping your cornea using an excimer laser, allowing light to be sharply focused on your retina for clear vision. The main difference is in the first step of the procedure. In LASIK, a thin corneal flap is created using a femtosecond laser. This flap is then lifted to expose the underlying cornea and is replaced after the cornea has been re-shaped with the excimer laser.

In PRK, instead of creating a flap, the surface epithelium is removed prior to re-shaping the underlying cornea with the excimer laser. This epithelium takes several days to regenerate after surgery, hence recovery is slower.