PRK in Military

If you are thinking about having Lasik, IntraLasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or P-IOL eye surgery, this is the forum to research your concerns or ask your questions.

PRK in Military

Postby prkmil » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:08 am

I have a few questions regarding PRK procedures and I suppose I will number them to make the process a little easier. Just FYI I am 24 year old male. Current contact prescription is SPH -2.25 CYL -0.75 AX 070 BC 8.7 only difference in my right eye is AX=100. I have astigmatism but not sure how bad.

1. I am in the military, are there any reasons as to why the military would use PRK over any other surgery aside from LASIK flap?

2. I have been told by my optometrist that 20/20 is considered "Outcome failure", is this typical outlook on this type surgery?

3. I currently wear glasses, but have worn contacts for the past 13 years, I do not see as well with glasses as I do with contacts, will PRK be closer to the way I see with glasses or contacts or completely different? Dr. says glasses arent as good because they arent as close to the eye as contacts, causing simulated "tunnel vision". Current vision with glasses is 20/17 not sure with contacts but I know I can see better with contacts especially at night.

4. I have read and been told that contact wear after surgery is difficult or impossible, are there any percentages of this as to how many can wear contacts if they have to? Or is it pretty much gauranteed that you cant wear contacts after surgery?

5. I have to drive to another base to have the procedure done, and am given 5 days of sick leave is this enough to recover enough to drive back home, about 9 hour drive.

6. Is there anything I can do personally do to decrease my chances of not healing well causing my vision to not be 100%?

7. Is the chance of my vision after the surgery not being 20/20 or better effected by me, the laser, or the surgeon, or a combination of all or some? Can I do anything, or can I ask that the surgeon do anything to make the outcome better concerning my vision afterwards?

8. Can you think of anything else I might need to address that I might not have mentioned? Thanks
prkmil
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: PRK in Military

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:37 am

prkmil wrote:I have a few questions regarding PRK procedures and I suppose I will number them to make the process a little easier. Just FYI I am 24 year old male. Current contact prescription is SPH -2.25 CYL -0.75 AX 070 BC 8.7 only difference in my right eye is AX=100. I have astigmatism but not sure how bad.


You have low myopia (nearsighted, shortsighted) vision and moderate astigmatism.

prkmil wrote:1. I am in the military, are there any reasons as to why the military would use PRK over any other surgery aside from LASIK flap?


The military does not allow personnel who participate in extreme environments, such as Special Forces or combat pilots, to have Lasik because of the concern with flap dislocation. You and those who rely on you would not want your vision compromised in a dangerous situation. The Naval Air Force is just now starting to evaluate Lasik for pilots, but a surface ablation technique like PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik is currently preferred or required by the US military.

prkmil wrote:2. I have been told by my optometrist that 20/20 is considered "Outcome failure", is this typical outlook on this type surgery?


That is not the whole story. I think what may have been meant is that you can still have a poor outcome even if you achieve 20/20.

The Snellen 20/whatever vision acuity testing system is not always the best way to measure refractive surgery outcomes. Recognizable black letters on a white background in a controlled environment is not a real world experience - especially if your world is the military. There are additional tests that can provide an evaluation of the quality of vision, such as contrast sensitivity.

prkmil wrote:3a. I currently wear glasses, but have worn contacts for the past 13 years, I do not see as well with glasses as I do with contacts, will PRK be closer to the way I see with glasses or contacts or completely different?


Probably closer to the way you see in contact lenses, but discuss this with the surgeon.

prkmil wrote:3b. Dr. says glasses arent as good because they arent as close to the eye as contacts, causing simulated "tunnel vision".


The entire corrected visual field must fit within the width of your glasses, which is limited. Most contacts correct the full visual field.

Contacts have other advantages too. They help smooth the outermost layer of corneal cells (epithelium) and can correct some small topographical irregularities in the cornea.

prkmil wrote:Current vision with glasses is 20/17 not sure with contacts but I know I can see better with contacts especially at night.


This may be a why your doctor said that 20/20 could be considered a failure. Your vision is better than 20/20, but it is unreasonable to expect vision after refractive surgery to be better than 20/20 "normal" vision. If you get normal vision with surgery, you would actually be taking a step down.

prkmil wrote:4. I have read and been told that contact wear after surgery is difficult or impossible, are there any percentages of this as to how many can wear contacts if they have to? Or is it pretty much gauranteed that you cant wear contacts after surgery?


Contact lens wear is not a problem for the vast majority of people who have laser eye surgery. In some cases specialized lenses may be required, but contacts are probably going to be okay after surgery, especially because you have a rather low refractive error. The curvature of your corneas will not change dramatically.

prkmil wrote:5. I have to drive to another base to have the procedure done, and am given 5 days of sick leave is this enough to recover enough to drive back home, about 9 hour drive.


In my opinion; no. It is very possible that you will have functional vision, but driving for nine hours will likely stress your eyes, contribute to dry eye problems, and will likely cover evening or nighttime hours when vision would be most likely poor during the initial recovery stage. It is possible that you could make the trip at five days postop, but you are asking for trouble if you don't have someone else available to drive you.

prkmil wrote:6. Is there anything I can do personally do to decrease my chances of not healing well causing my vision to not be 100%?


Follow your doctor's directions. Keep your eyes moist with preservative-free eye drops after surgery. Keep your eyes closed as long and as often as possible (another problem with driving).

prkmil wrote:7. Is the chance of my vision after the surgery not being 20/20 or better effected by me, the laser, or the surgeon, or a combination of all or some?


It is a combination. The primary component is the surgeon. The surgeon is the person who decides if you should have surgery and the parameters of that surgery. You can be an educated patient, but ultimate the outcome is the surgeon's responsibility.

prkmil wrote:7b. Can I do anything, or can I ask that the surgeon do anything to make the outcome better concerning my vision afterwards?


The best prediction of the outcome will be based upon the doctor's preoperative examination. The more comprehensive the examination, the more accurate the prediction. Even with everything done right, you can still have a poor outcome. This is microsurgery on tissue. Even if things go the way we want the vast majority of the time, there is still an element of risk. Discuss your specifics risk factors with your doctor.

prkmil wrote:8. Can you think of anything else I might need to address that I might not have mentioned? Thanks


Keep reading this website and be evaluated by a civilian Lasik specialist or two before you go to the military surgeon. Compare the opinions of the different doctors.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California

Postby prkmil » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:17 am

Thank you very much for your response!!! I noticed on some other posts you or some one else on here said taking Vitamin C before and after the surgery will help and staying away from sunlight, do you have any additional advice or is this the most you can do. Got ya on the wetting drops and will be sure to use steroids drops to a T, and any other meds that will help the healing process. I hope this doesnt make me take a step down going from 20/17 to 20/20 but not having to wear glasses or contacts long term will definitely be beneficial to my career. Thanks again
:)
prkmil
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:21 pm

Taking 500mg of vitamin C twice a day for a week before surgery and at least two weeks after, plus the use of 100% UVA, UVB blocking sun glasses will reduce the probability of developing corneal haze, however your refractive error is so low that the probability of corneal haze developing is undoubtedly not elevated. The vitamin C would probably do you no harm, and the sunglasses will be important with or without surgery.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California

Postby prkmil » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:31 pm

Thanks for your responses. If I think of any questions before the surgery I will get back to you.
prkmil
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Postby prkmil » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:42 pm

One other thing I am curious about is the procedure itself. How long should the procedure last on each eye. What are the steps in the surgery from putting in numbing drops to putting in the braces to keep the eye open? To the actual laser usage? How important is it that I do not move my eyeball even a fraction of an inch? These are things running through my mind because I wouldnt want to accidentally move my eye and cause the laser to make a wrong movement. Thanks in advance for your response.
prkmil
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:43 am

Your short tour of PRK is at Short PRK Description.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California


Return to Thinking About It

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest