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Laser Eye Surgery: Understanding the Pros and Cons of tPRK and Conventional PRK Methods


A clinical trial compares different PKR laser eye surgery

Transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (tPRK) is a type of laser eye surgery that corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. It is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional PRK methods, which involve manually removing the corneal epithelium. A clinical trial aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of tPRK compared to two other conventional PRK methods: mechanical epithelial debridement PRK (mPRK) and alcohol-assisted PRK (aaPRK).

Clinical trial

The study was conducted on a double-masked, randomized clinical trial, with 39 patients undergoing tPRK in one eye and mPRK in the other eye (arm A), and 33 patients undergoing tPRK in one eye and aaPRK in the other eye (arm B). The results of the study revealed that all three methods were equally effective in terms of visual and refractive outcomes. However, there were some differences in terms of epithelial healing rate, postoperative pain, and discomfort.

The mean epithelial healing time was similar in tPRK versus mPRK in arm A, and tPRK versus aaPRK in arm B. However, when accounting for the initial corneal epithelial defect area, the epithelial healing rate was faster in conventional PRK groups compared to tPRK in both arms. The patients who underwent conventional PRK also reported less pain and discomfort on the first postoperative day.

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It is important to note that there was no significant difference in safety, efficacy, spherical equivalent refractive accuracy, or corneal haze development between tPRK and conventional PRK groups. Therefore, all three methods can be considered safe and effective for correcting vision.

Overall, the study suggests that tPRK is an effective alternative to traditional PRK methods, with comparable visual and refractive outcomes. However, patients should be aware of the potentially slower epithelial healing rate and increased postoperative pain and discomfort associated with tPRK. It is important to consult with an experienced eye surgeon to determine the best course of action for your individual needs and preferences.


If you are considering laser eye surgery, it is essential to do your research and choose a reputable and experienced eye surgeon. Ask about their experience with tPRK and other PRK methods, and be sure to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. By working closely with your eye surgeon, you can make an informed decision about your eye health and vision correction options.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.