My PRK/AST/Epi-Lasik experience

Research your concerns in this forum or post your questions if you have had Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL within the past three months.

My PRK/AST/Epi-Lasik experience

Postby flcaoh » Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:01 am

So, the laser center where my surgery was performed called my procedure AST or Advanced Surface Treatment. I've done a lot of searching and reading and asking to try to decipher the difference between AST and ASA and Epi-Lasik and Lasek and PRK, but haven't really figured out the concrete difference yet. Can anyone clear this up for me?

I do know that they used an alcohol solution to remove my epithelium. I had contact lenses placed on my eyes and removed after 4 days for my left eye and 5 for my right. I had very little pain (thankfully) even though they send me home with several pain pills and although I have had fluctuating vision since the surgery, I have had functional vision since the day after the contacts were removed. My vision was HORRIBLE on days 3, 4, and 5. (I had my surgery on Dec 12th)

I have heard that surface treatments can be a like a roller coaster ride. It seems like my eyes have a mind of their own throughout the day. I am trying my hardest to have patience and when things get blurry or "ghosty" to remind myself that it will all pass... *hopefully* lol.

For the most part I am 20/20 or very close. My left eye has what, at this point, seems to be a pretty constant ghosting side effect. With anything that is light colored against a dark background I experience ghosting at the "3 o'clock" and '9 o'clock" positions. I notice it mostly when I am driving at night. Reflective signs are a biggie and for some reason, I notice it with red lights more than any other color light. My left eye also becomes blurry and hazy off and on throughout the day. Very occasionally my right eye become blurry but I only notice it when I am reading or using the computer and probably not blinking as much as I should. And is it just me, or does everyone that has this procedure have a constant obsession with comparing their two eyes to each other? I find myself constantly covering one eye to check the vision in the other. LOL.

I had chronic dry eye before the surgery but have been on an aggressive dry eye regimen consisting of restasis, thera-tears omega 3 supplements, vitamin C, and lots and lots of Refresh Plus (finding these at Sam's club in bulk was the greatest discovery EVER) for the last 3 months. I was ecstatic to hear the doctor say on day 4 that he noticed no dryness issues at all! I've had dry eye issues along with allergies for the last 2 years. I've tried Restasis before with no luck, all sorts of different lubricating drops, plugs, etc and nothing worked until now. Matter of fact, the dry eye and inability to wear contacts is what pushed me to finally make the decision to have corrective eye surgery. I loathed my glasses.

Despite the ghosting and occasional blurriness I couldn't be happier with my results. I'm positive that the aforementioned issues will clear up... I still have 3-6 months of healing to do after all. And after 20 years of wearing glasses and contacts (and I'm only 26) my brain still can't fathom that I don't need SOMETHING to see. My prescription was -7.00 in my left eye and -7.50 in my right. I know I had slight astigmatism but I am not sure exactly what my prescription for that was. At night, I can't shake the nagging feeling that I need to take my contacts out before I go to sleep. And I still sometimes reach up to take my glasses off right before putting in drops. And there are still times where I just look around at my clear "HD" detailed world in amazement and think to myself... I don't have contacts in or glasses on... this is awesome!!!
flcaoh
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Postby shealy2 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:45 pm

Hi.
I am considering getting the Epi lasik surgery for my son. I am wondering how your eyes are doing now since you had your surgery. I was told that with the epi lasik, the alchohol is not used. The doctor told my son that he could have the lasik or the epi lasik, but that the epi lasik is safer and just as effective as the lasik. Could you please let us know if you have had any complications?
shealy2
 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:06 pm

Postby flcaoh » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:25 pm

Hi shealy2!

Sure, I'd love to let you know how it went. The healing process was several weeks of up and down vision. My eyes finally stabalized around the beginning of Feburary... it was frustrating, especially because I am in college and have to read massive amounts of material on a daily basis... but my doctors did warn me that it may take 6-8 weeks for my vision to stop fluctuating.

Like I said in the post, I had dry eye before the surgury, so I continue to have minor issues with that. However, I take daily preventative measures (Omega 3 supplements, humidifier in my bedroom while I sleep, and I carry drops with me EVERY WHERE). But I only need my drops once or twice a day, if that.

The only other "complication" I still have is what is known as ghosting. Mine is VERY minor, and I only notice it when either my eyes are extra dry or when it's really dark and there are a lot of lights. Or if I concentrate really hard during the day I can see it on light colored objects. That was also a known side effect and over all, while it can be distracting if I drive at night, am very tired, and my eyes are dry... I don't really ever notice it.

My vision is 20/15 now. Have been since mid Feb. It's awesome!!! I can't believe how crystal clear every thing is. I hike alot and I still, 7 months later, marvel at how pretty nature is without a lense sheilding your vision. Now for the bad side of being over corrected... I need reading glasses now, before had phenominal up close vision, not so much anymore. Now, my prescription is VERY VERY weak (+0.50). And most of my reading issues are due to the fact that I read CONSTANTLY... for school and for pleasure and I only use my glasses when my head starts to hurt or the words start to blur (generally after hours of reading).

Over all I would recommend it to any one that really wants to get it done. The first few months can be frustrating. The first week was hell. But the best piece of advice I can give you is DO YOUR RESEARCH. Make sure your son knows what he's getting himself into and make sure you get the surgury done by a really really good doctor. Mine is supposedly the best in the area. I paid 3400 for my surgury, average in my area is 2000... but I would rather pay more knowing my eyes are in good hands.

I babied my eyes for the first 3 months after the surgury... make sure your son does everything the doctor says to do. Be extra careful. Wear sunglasses relgiously for 6 months to a year after the surgury. Any other questions feel free to email me at stephlynnosu@gmail.com
flcaoh
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Postby shealy2 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:43 pm

Hi,
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Yes, I was told that the surgery for both eyes would be $3,600.00 and the initial consultation is $125.00 I don't feel to good about the ghosting thing or that you still have to wear glasses. It sounds like your vision has really improved though. That's really great! Will the ghosting ever go away? It's kind of scary. Do you think the regular lasik would be better?
shealy2
 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:06 pm


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