If YOU are thinking about having PRK...be aware

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.

If YOU are thinking about having PRK...be aware

Postby prk6188 » Fri May 02, 2008 9:49 pm

All the promotional materials say recovery time is a few days to two weeks. This is simply NOT true. My girlfriend had PRK 21 days ago, and it has been very stressful to both of us as she is seeing no signs of healing and a pronounced haziness (read: not acceptable in the long term).

Be aware that your physician WILL understate the amount and severity of recovery time. Plan to take a month off of work, if your job requires you to see. And prepare to be very worried until things heal completely which may take SEVERAL (read: 3-12 months). This is not only from our experience but from all the posts and info I have read out there.

Be careful..
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Consider doing one eye at a time...

Postby catnmus » Mon May 05, 2008 2:15 am

If you're considering PRK or any other surface procedure (I had epi-Lasik), you should consider whether to do one eye at a time. I work with computers and though it was annoying for a couple of weeks to work with one good eye and one "bad" eye, I only ended up taking a total of 3 days off work - two surgery days and two half-days on day 2 post surgery when my eye suddenly woke up and complained.

This worked well for me because I was able to carpool to work (letting others drive) and relied on my husband for nighttime driving for a while. If your job is flexible enough that your eyesight can be "just okay" for a couple of weeks, and you have someone available to do the driving (including 2 surgery trips), it can work out very well.

If you require very fine detail vision for your job, or if you don't have bus service or someone to drive you for a week or so each time, you may be better off taking 2-3 weeks off and getting both done at the same time.

I don't know anything about the haziness, except to say that my doc put mitomycin-C on my eye on surgery day, which was to reduce haziness, and also I took vitamin C, 1000 mg per day for a week before surgery and a week after, which I think was also to try to reduce chance of haziness. This is more of a risk with higher prescriptions.
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Postby lvziggy » Mon May 05, 2008 4:55 pm

I had PRK done one eye at a time for the same reason.

And not ALL doctors are going to mislead you. My surgeon was very forthcoming about the recovery time and additional pain involved with PRK. I was very comfortable with him and felt that he was completely honest with me. Unfortunately no doctor can tell with any certainty how any individual will respond to a particular treatment.

This is just one more reason to research doctors thoroughly and find one who is honest, competent and that you're comfortable with. The lowest price is NOT the best way to choose a surgeon. Not to say that's what you did, prk, but there are many people out there who do just that.

~Alison
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Postby Tempted » Tue May 06, 2008 2:17 am

PRK6188, let us know of any progress she's making. Good luck.
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed May 07, 2008 6:33 pm

If you read several of the comments from PRK patients in this forum (LASEK and Epi-Lasik too) you will see that the time for vision recovery varies dramatically. Some have reported returning to work within a few days, while others have had weeks of poor vision.

One of the major factors with the surface ablation techniques is the epithelium. The corneal epithelium is the outermost layer of cells and are the fastest reproducing cells in the human body. For most people the epithelium covers the cornea within 2-3 days, but does need more time to thicken and smooth. While a PRK patient may achieve "functional fuzzy" vision within 2-5 days, it is more reasonable to expect 3-6 weeks before achieving the crisp vision desired.

It seems likely that there is more involved with your girlfriend's situation than just a slow PRK vision recovery. Dry eyes, a relatively common problem immediately after laser vision correction, can slow healing and actually damage the epithelium as it is attempting to grow. Inflammmation (also exacerbated by dry eyes) can cause pain and reduce vision clarity.

If the haze is at the level of the corneal stroma beneath the epithelium, a more agressive treatment such as Mitomycin C may be recommend by her doctor.

Since it appears you have lost faith in her doctor, I very highly recommend that you seek a second opinion. A corneal specialist at a university affiliated teaching hospital may be a good choice. Either you will learn that her primary doctor is doing all that is necessary, or you will learn that you need a different treatment plan. Either way, you will both gain some peace of mind.
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I am not a doctor.
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