Eyesight is one of our most important senses. Since it helps connect us to other people and our surroundings, it’s no wonder we rely on it so much.
It’s also why changes to our vision are so unsettling. Fortunately, medical advances like LASIK allow us to correct many causes of vision changes.
While risks and side effects are uncommon with LASIK, they can happen. At PRP Dry Eye Clinic, we offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) serum drops following your LASIK surgery to speed healing and regenerate the delicate tissue of your eyes.
The fronts of your eyes are covered by a clear, dome-shaped protective layer called the cornea. It acts much like the lens of a camera, bending and focusing light so that it can pass through your pupils and lens.
Your corneas may not be perfect. In this case, the bending and focusing of light – called refraction – causes some images to appear blurry or distorted. There are 3 main types of refractive errors:
Eyeglasses or contact lenses can compensate for these refractive errors. But many people seek out the more permanent solution that LASIK offers.
LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is the best-known laser eye procedure in the United States, with more than 700,000 surgeries performed each year.1 During a LASIK procedure, a surgeon uses a special type of laser to create a flap in your cornea. The laser is then used to reshape your cornea’s underlying layers so that light rays are focused on the back of your eyes (retina).
LASIK has a strong safety profile, but no surgery is without risks. The changes made to your cornea during a LASIK procedure affect your tear film, which contains growth factors, enzymes, and nutrients that maintain the health of the ocular surface.2,3
Because of the damage to your tear film, common side effects following LASIK surgery include:
Most of these side effects are temporary, but for some patients (between 20 to 40%), the symptoms can last 6 months or longer.5
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) eye drops can aid in post-LASIK recovery by delivering healing growth factors directly to your eyes.
PRP eye drops are blood-derived products, obtained by separating platelets from other components in your blood.
Platelets, best known for their role in blood clotting, are a rich source of proteins and growth factors that promote tissue regeneration and healing.6,7
The use of blood-derived products for eyes isn’t new. In 1975, scientists documented the benefits of autologous (derived from one’s own body) serum for patients with severe dry eyes.8
Why blood though? It’s because the composition of your blood is similar to that of your tears, including:9
Historically, fetal bovine serum or umbilical cord serum have been used. But because these products are from other species or other human donors, they carry a high risk of allergic reactions and infectious disease transmission.10
To eliminate such risks, we only use autologous PRP or serum eye drops.
The short answer? Yes.
There is an increasing number of studies reporting the benefits of PRP eye drops for post-LASIK recovery.
In one study, patients with ocular surface syndrome (OSS) after LASIK were treated with PRP eye drops for 4 weeks. The results showed that 85% of the patients experienced significant improvements of their symptoms, and 54% had improved corrected visual acuity.11
Similar results were reported in a 2017 study, in which patients with post-LASIK OSS were treated using only autologous PRP eye drops.12 These benefits may be, at least in part, due to PRP’s ability to restore tear film function.13
Recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) is another concern for patients undergoing LASIK surgery. RCE is a chronic condition resulting in pain and blurry vision.14
PRP or serum eye drops may help with RCE as well. Results from several studies support the use of PRP eye drops in patients with RCE after LASIK. One study showed that 8 out of 11 patients using autologous serum eye drops did not experience any relapses in RCE.15
In another longer-term study, patients with RCE used autologous serum eye drops after all other conventional treatments had failed. Remarkably, 85% of patients had no relapses during the 30-month follow-up period.16
The entire PRP process is very quick and easy. At PRP Dry Eye Clinic, you can expect the following steps:
|A technician will draw a small sample (about 15 cc) of blood from you, which will be placed in a tube.|
|The vial is placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at high speeds. This separates the platelets from the other blood components.|
|We remove the tube from the centrifuge and separate the plasma layer from the other layers which are then discarded.|
|Once the PRP solution is prepared, your provider will give you instructions on how to use the eye drops.|
When it comes to your eyes, you can’t be too careful. If you’re in the Joplin, MO area and thinking about LASIK, call us today to find out how PRP can help your recovery process.
We look forward to helping you see your best.Call us today to learn what PRP can do for you.