PRK January 10th, 2008

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PRK January 10th, 2008

Postby BahamaPapa » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:21 pm

My PRK Story.

My vision correction research began many years ago, but I am not an early adopter of anything. I wanted to wait for the procedure to make it main stream, which I would say that it has.

Five years ago a friend of mine shared with me that her husband had laser vision correction and was 20/20 and doing great. My interest perked, started my research again and wasn’t comfy just yet. Last year my friend shared that she had the procedure and was 20/20, and encouraged me to look into having it done. My journey began, as I actively researched and scanned to numerous forums and downloaded and viewed quite a number of procedures posted on the net. My first consult was pretty good with a popular chain, I was told I was an excellent candidate for customvue intralase. My corneal thickness was said to be on the thin side but told that I’d do fine. The forums helped me a lot in knowing what is important in terms of being a good candidate. Corneal thickness became a concern of mine, so I did 3 more consults with different clinics. All others told me that my corneal thickness would leave me little room for enhancements for Lasik. That made me eliminate the first clinic, from my list of clinics. I did call them and enquired why they would perform the procedure with my corneal thinness. A lame reason (in my opinion) was given, which I felt should have been explained to me then for me to make the decision. All the other clinics recommended PRK. My focus and research switched to finding out as much as I could about PRK. I started to like the idea of the procedure compared to Lasik, inspite of the longer healing time.

I read a lot of post on this site, and particularly the positive experiences shared by “houstonman” and “MamaBean”. Their post actually helped me to decide to go with prk. There were a few horrors that I read as well that spooked me from doing the procedure. I prayed about it the whole time I was trying to make a decision to “just do it”. I actually had 3 appointments for the procedure and cancelled, because of reading some not so fortunate experiences. Well I am here to say that my experience has been a “Wonderful” one and I am very sorry to have read and still read of complications.

My procedure was January 10, 2008. Tomorrow will be 4weeks post-op. My vision is very good today with no complications or major discomfort experienced.

Day 1 - like waking and knowing your going to be executed. No appetite for breakfast, no interest in anything at all. Just praying that I made the right decision. Appointment was 12:30, got there about 11:45, because I told my wife I wasn’t sure if I was still going to do it and wanted to ask a few more questions before hand. Talking about a tense morning. Well I didn’t get a chance to ask my questions because my pre-op procedures began, as the Dr. was busy laser-ing other patients. Punctual plugs were painfully inserted in my tear drains (that was the most painful part of my whole prk experience), because I have really bad dry eye, or maybe it was because they could squeeze another $400 out of me (200 per eye). My eyes were tested etc., and before I go into the laser suite, the Dr. comes to talk to me one last time. At this point I would really feel bad to cancel. So I asked a few more questions and told him I was really terrified. He assured that I’ll be fine. (Really?)

So, I’m called into the suite. Took what I thought would be the last look of my wife and dragged myself in the suite. I was offered a relaxant, and sleep aid which I accepted. I thought the relaxant would have been given to me the minute I walked in the clinic. This wasn’t given time to work because after swallowing a cup of water I was told to lay back, and the Dr. worked his magic.

Drops in both eyes, left eye tapped shut, eye lid retractor placed on right eye, told to look at green light, teeth cleaning device applied to surface of eyeball (did not feel this), spatula swept away epitheal layer, rinse, laser, rinse, contact bandage, done.

Right eye taped shut, and same for left eye. Both eyes together total of 3-4 mins.

Time spent on each eye from start to finish I estimate (seriously) 90 seconds. I can only recall the tech saying 19sec laser on left eye, I was still trying to settle in when they did the right eye so I don’t recall how long the laser was on my right eye.

I was done, told to sit up and open my eyes, I was too happy to be able to SEE! My vision was by far better than it was 5 mins earlier. My eyes were examined by the Dr. on another machine and sent home to rest and do what ever I feel comfortable.

Stopped for some food on the way home, ate, started feeling the affects of the sleeping pill, slept for a few hours. Went back out with my wife to the mall and a few other places. Vision was extremely good, light sensitive, a little scratchy, but fine. Tried to keep my eyes closed as I was only there to be out. Only opened my eyes for seconds at a time.

Slept for the first week in the goggles
Same eye drop regimen, as others have posted.

Day 2 - light sensitive, scratchy, but good vision. Eyes kept closed as much as possible. Went everywhere with my wife that day. Stayed in the car at most places. Went for first follow up. Healing good, told to come back in 6 days to have bandage removed. Vision 20/40, pre op 20/400.

Day 3 – extremely light sensitive, even with dark sun glasses, tearing, scratchy, good vision. Worst day!

Day 4 – light sensitive, reading difficult (was worried about this) scratchy, tearing. Good vision

Day 5 – I’m getting a lot better, drove

Day 6 – Same as day 5, contact bandage really getting on my nerves now.

Day 7 – Went for follow-up (drove myself) and bandage removal. 20/20

Following days have been progressively better each day. Initially I could not use the computer, the screen was difficult to read, but now its not a problem. Some things at certain distances have a slight blur to it, but for the most part it is crisp and clear. A post I read someone described their new vision as seeing the world in “high definition”. Dependency for rewetting has slowed, even though I do so about every 1/2hr. Hey I can put drops in while I’m driving now. (DON’T TRY THAT THOUGH)

Night driving was annoying at first, the double vision of the headlights and streets lights. I really didn’t notice it tonight, so it may have gone. Other than that I am thankful for a successful procedure with no complications. And I am glad I did PRK vs. Lasik.

Thanks to houstonman and MamaBean for sharing their experience.

I have been taking the vit C, flaxseed oil, and drinking lots of water. I don’t know how much this contributed to my good experience. I started on the supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery and am still taking them, at least to 3mths or 6mths, along with the gallon of water per day.

If anyone is interested, I can refer you to a very good Dr. run clinic in South Florida . Just send me a PM. Any questions feel free to ask, I’ll be glad to help.
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Postby Pappy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:25 pm

Howdy BahamaPapa,

I had my PRK about 14 days ago (actually exactly 14 days ago to the minute as of writing this post).

Glad you are having a speedy recovery. I have a few friends in the navy and they use the P in PRK to stand for pain so I was expecting it to be painful for the first few days. I was not disappointed and the level of pain for me in the 1-10 scale was probably a 15. Some strong pain meds and lots of sleep got me through it.

I'm having a pretty standard recovery from what I have read and you are ahead of the curve! I'm at the blurry stage here each day having incremental changes.

Out of curiousity what was your perscription pre-op?
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Postby BahamaPapa » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:55 pm

contact prescription was -3.75 both eyes
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Postby BahamaPapa » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:49 pm

actually i noticed that the double head lights i saw has diminished or completely gone. i do still sill a little ghosting with the street lights. earlier it would appear that every on coming vehicle had fog lights, the lower two being the ghost. i haven't had a dr. administsered eye exam since my 1 week follow up, but i would guess that i am pretty close to 20/20.
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Postby BahamaPapa » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:12 am

vision seems to be exceptionally good today, the need for rewetting drops were minimal, least since surgery
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Postby houstonman » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:53 pm

Wow its so awesome that my information went to good use. Its funny as I read this in my docs office on my 3 month eye check up. I have to admit...It has been so amazing since the surgery. To add to the greatness today I was told I am 20/15 (better than 20/20 for those who dont know). I took a stab at the 20/10 line and got 2 lettters heh. Wow im so glad you went through with it and im telling you it only gets better! Everyday to me is a new day. I wake up, walk out side and just say "WOW"! I have went to Denver and got to enjoy the scene with my new eyes and it was so beautiful. Words cant describe the view of the mountains and being able to play in snow without worrying if glasses will fall off or having to clean them every 5 seconds. Glad you went though with it and keep us posted. You will notice some days are clearer than others in first 2 months but its all normal and by month 3 u should be balanced out.

Oh and my doc told me since summer is coming up to look into polorized sunglasses. She said the skin around the eye is most sensitive and good sunglasses can prevent skin cancer in that area. Thought I should share that. Ok hope you have a good one. :-)
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Postby BahamaPapa » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:37 am

well i'm 2months and 2days post op, vision is great. left eye is not as crisp as the right at distance, but within 20 to 30 feet about the same. both eyes together are good. i think the difference is due to more dryness in the left eye compared to the right. i cannot wait to have my 3month check. overall i am satisfied with my vision correction to date. my recovery was uneventful (so far). minor (insignificant) discomfort, mainly dryness and burning sensation (dryness). waking is slow, i have to administer drops before opening my eyes all the way. after that its smooth sailing. the need for rewetting has decreased, eventhough i'm going through a bottle of refresh tears every 7 days. the refresh liquigel leaves me a bit blurry and drys up around the eye lid, (looks like you didnt wash your face in the morning), so i only use that at night or when my eyes feel really stressed.
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Postby BahamaPapa » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:42 am

thanks again “houstonman” and “MamaBean” for sharing your experiences, that helped me in my decision to have the surgery and in particular prk.

hope me sharing my experience helps others.

one thing that i can note is that my water intake has been decreased allot, and i do need to get it back up near the gallon of water per day. i think not doing so has contributed to my dry eye. not easy swallowing a gallon of water sitting in a cold office all day. i gotta do it do, at least until i'm all healed up.
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Postby BahamaPapa » Wed May 14, 2008 2:42 am

just an update
i had my 3 month follow up on the 16th April
vision tested 20/20, and could comfortably read the 20/15 line on the chart

i am truly happy and thankful for a successful outcome so far.

i dont know if i can say that i am clearly out of the woods but i trust that all will continue to go well, as the procedure promises crisper, clearer vision as time progresses

i still administer the rewetting drops as necessary, i am stil very careful about rubbing my eyes and protecting them from dust etc.

i have a 6 month check in July, and will definitely share the results

i am loving not having to depend on glasses, most times i dont even remember that i had the surgery

btw, my left eye is not as crisp and clear as my right, however on the chart it still read the 20/20 and 20/15 line. its just not as sharp

best wishes to all of you who are contemplating having the procedure and those of you who are having challenges. my suggestion, increase your water intake and supplement with the flax seed and vitamin c.
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Re: PRK January 10th, 2008

Postby LasikExpert » Wed May 14, 2008 4:17 pm

BahamaPapa wrote:Day 1 - like waking and knowing your going to be executed.

Congratulations on your outcome and thanks again for giving us so much information about your experience. I'm sure this will help many who are considering Lasik or PRK. and hopefully their Day 1 will be a bit less anxious for all your information.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
Site Admin
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Postby BahamaPapa » Wed May 28, 2008 5:41 am

just wanted to know, those of you that have read my story, if it was of some help to you. Whether you chose to have the procedure or not, and if you have had the procedure since reading of my experience, it would be nice to know.

just post a short reply


btw, i am still doing fine
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Postby JustLooking » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:11 pm

Your posting was very encouraging for me. My PRK on both eyes is scheduled in New Orleans for September 9th, 2008. I'm reading everything that I can about the recovery that other people experienced. Thanks so much for taking time to post your story. I'm always uplifted by people who have positive experiences. I'm not afraid of the procedure at all, but I expect to be a total baby on the pain scale. I guess we will see in a few days...
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Postby kslone » Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:28 pm

I am close to 2 months with my ASA or know as prk and my vision sucks big time. Had ghosting before surgery and now worse than ever. NOT happy with mine.
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