Will glasses help me after surface ablation?

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Will glasses help me after surface ablation?

Postby Cindy G » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:29 am

I am almost more concerned about not being able to see well after surface ablation than the discomfort. I am just wondering if I were to wear a pair of glasses with a low prescription in them, if it would help me to see better until my eyes heal. I can't imagine needing the strong lenses that I have now.

I think if I have the surgery my doctor is planning on doing both eyes at once. That would be fine with me if I could wear glasses with a small correction in them. I am a minus 10 something in one eye and a minus 11 in another eye.

I have read that good vision is not instant with surface ablation like it is with Lasik. I am wondering if it will be as bad as my pre op vision or not that bad. Without my glasses or contacts I can't make out who a person is 3 feet in front of me. Is that what it is going to be like for me right after surface ablation? Will I notice any improvement at all?
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Re: Will glasses help me after surface ablation?

Postby JustLooking » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:31 pm

Cindy G wrote:I have read that good vision is not instant with surface ablation like it is with Lasik. I am wondering if it will be as bad as my pre op vision or not that bad. Without my glasses or contacts I can't make out who a person is 3 feet in front of me. Is that what it is going to be like for me right after surface ablation? Will I notice any improvement at all?


Hi. I just had PRK last week and I had the same question about my post PRK vision. My numbers are not the same as yours, but I was nearsighted with a high degree of astigmatism, so like you, everything more than a couple of feet away was unrecognizable without my glasses pre-PRK.

My vision, while quite blurry at times, is much better now that I have had PRK than it was pre-PRK without my glasses. "Blurry" is not really the best way to describe my post-PRK vision, but I don't really have another word to describe it. It's not the same "blurry" that I had without my glasses. Even though objects are not crisp, I can still tell what they are at 30 plus feet or less. I can recognize faces at that distance, too.

Before PRK, I could not go very long without my glasses or I would have terrible headaches. My vision was so bad that I could not really navigate a room to get anything done. After PRK, I can see well enough to get things done, even though some things are not as crisp as I would like them to be.

I have no headaches. I really expected to have them, but I don't. Before PRK, I would get headaches for a week after I got a new pair of glasses, so I thought for sure I would have headaches after PRK, but none so far.

It's a night and day difference (uncorrected pre-PRK vs post-PRK), but it's very hard to describe. I'm only eight days out, but I'm managing quite well.

I don't know the answer about the temporary correction with glasses question. I tried on my old glasses, and I can't see a thing with them. When I put them on, it's like I used to see pre-PRK when I took my glasses off. I tried a couple of different strengths of reading glasses, too, but none of them help yet. I can see the computer better without them. I wore a +2 bifocal before PRK and my surgeon said I will need reading glasses, but right now I can read alright without them (though it will most likely change as I heal).

I hope someone else can answer your question about the glasses. I guess my point in replying is just to let you know if your recovery is similar to mine, you should be able to manage through the early parts of healing without glasses. I can't comment on anything past eight days out, though, since that's where I am at right now.

I qualified for both Lasik and PRK, but I decided to request PRK because I did not want to risk a flap complication. One of the things that most sticks in my mind is my surgeon coming into the room and seeing on my chart that I decided to do PRK instead of Lasik. He had a huge smile on his face and said "PRK is a great surgery. You will be glad you made this choice". He's a man of few words, so the fact that he made that comment and seemed so happy to be doing PRK really made me feel confident in my decision. Good luck with your decision.
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Postby JustLooking » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:59 pm

Quite by accident, I just ran upon a question on a different PRK board that sort of answers your question about the temporary glasses question. I don't know if it is "legal" to post the link since the topic is on a totally different website, so I tried to PM you with the link. I got a "PM has been disabled" message, so I'm not sure how to get the link to you. You can try to PM me and I will reply to you with the link if you like. You can find the post yourself by doing a search on Google using these keywords..."New user, post PRK doublevision". Just click on the first search option that Google shows.

Basically, the person had pretty bad ghosting within a week of his PRK procedure. It was affecting his work, so his doctor gave him a script for some glasses that corrected him to 20/25. His ghosting went away with the glasses and he was able to do his work until his uncorrected vision corrected to almost 20/20 at six weeks post-PRK. It is an interesting thread. He only needed glasses for a few weeks until his eyes healed and in his case, his vision was able to be corrected with glasses until he healed.
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Postby Cindy G » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:11 pm

Thanks for the info. I will try to find the website. The personal message thing does not work, I tried it the other day.
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How has you recovery been as far as pain goes?

Postby Cindy G » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:31 pm

Did you have the regular PRK? How did the surgeon move the epithelium? I am wondering if how it is removed determines how much pain you have after the surgery. I have read that Old Fashioned PRK is more painful than the newer surface ablations that they now offer.
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Postby JustLooking » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:57 pm

It all happened so fast that I'm not exactly sure how he did it. I do know that he used alcohol, because that was the only part that I felt. It did not hurt, but I did recognize the sting and smell of the alcohol.

I think he used the white stick or blade that you see so often in some of the videos of PRK. I did not hear or see a brush of any kind, so I don't believe he used one.

He told my husband when he met him at the elevators (he was headed for lunch and we were headed out of the building right after the surgery) while I ducked into the restroom that he should take me to the hotel room right away and go pick up my meds himself because "I was going to be crying in a little bit". I guess a lot of his patients must complain about pain, but I had no real pain. I had about 24 hours of a "soap in the eyes" feeling, but it was more of an annoyance than pain.

The doctor was surprised that I did not have more pain. I was surprised, too, because I was expecting the worst. I wore some GPL contacts too long as a teen one time and was in really bad pain for about three days. I also once had a bad welding burn to my eyes and was in three days of terrible pain. I was expecting it to be like one of those two instances, but to my surprise, it was not painful. Actually, the initial dilated exam was more painful to me. My eyes were sore and dry for about eight days after that exam.

I don't know if one type is more painful than the next or not, but I'm glad that it went well for me. I saw people in his office over the four days that I went in for followup visits that had more pain than I did with regular Lasik. Pain seems to vary a lot from person to person and even from eye to eye from what I have read. Some report no pain with one eye and extreme pain with the next eye done a month or so later. I think it is worth the pain not to have to worry about the flap complications. It was for me, anyway. BTW, the assistant told me that men are usually way worse with dealing with the pain than women are!!
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Postby Cindy G » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:19 pm

Wow that is so great to hear; because even though I said I was more worried about being able to see than the pain, I am concerned about the pain. I actually had eye liner tatooed on. That wasn't pleasant, but as soon as the artist was done, the pain was over with.

It sounds like you has Lasek, if they used alcohol. The place I am going to uses a brush. I am pretty sure she said the doctor didn't use alcohol. But another place I checked out uses alcohol and they call it Lasek.

In a way I am hoping that the surgeon is going to tell me that I have to have implants. I am just a little leery about needing an enhancement in the future and having to go through it all again. I have been told that with my high myopia that I might need an enhancement, if I even qualify for surface ablation in the first place.
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Postby JustLooking » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:03 pm

I'd love to have the tattoo eyeliner! I might look into that. I would not be hesitant at all to have an enhancement from a pain perspective. It really was no big deal.

If it was painful, I would say so. I have had quite a few surgeries, and a few of them have been quite painful. PRK was nothing in comparison.

I'm not sure is it was Lasek or not. I did not notice him piling the cell back onto the center of the eye like I have seen in some of the Lasek videos. On my qualification exam, I only discussed Lasik with him, so we never even talked about PRK until I was already getting prepped for the surgery.

He is in New Orleans and is partnered with a Dr. that is recommended by this site. You would never know that they were partners from either of their websites, but their business card and their prescription pads have both of their names on them as "So and So/So and So Custom Vison".

I actually contacted both surgeons not realizing they were partners and was told that they were and that they had "different machines and different pricing structures". One doctor is quite well known and charges more than twice the price as the other one. The one that I went to charges much less but does many more people(makes his money doing quantity vs higher pricing and fewer patients, I suppose). To be fair, I have also read that the royalty fees on the machine used by the higher priced surgeon are quite a bit higher, so that probably adds to the cost of his procedures too. I went to the one that charges less and felt quite confident in his ability to do a great job.

Interestingly, neither doctor has any information (or even mentions) PRK on their websites. No one mentioned it on my qualification exam, probably because I qualified for Lasik. The instruction sheet that they sent home with me after the exam said Lasik/PRK all over it, though.

I guess they only mention PRK to people who don't qualify for Lasik or who are in certain fields that would put them at risk (such as military, flight school, or certain types of sports).

Both of the doctors that I am speaking of also do implants and care for people with other eye diseases, too. The implant thing is interesting, but it's way too new for me to be comfortable with doing. I'll be interested to hear what you end up doing, so please keep posting as you work your way through the process.
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Postby Cindy G » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:43 am

I experienced the same thing with the pricing. One surgeon wants $1900.00 an eye and the other $2700.00. When I questioned why he charged so much more his (what do you call those people who do the consultations?) said it was because of his expertise. And then she tried saying that this other doctor I was considering did not have the experience. Well that is just her opinion. Of course she has to defend her employer. But it wasn't right for her to knock a doctor that she knows darn good and well is probably just as good, maybe even better.


I am having the testing done at the $1900.00 place this week and the other place the first week in October. I may not even go to the 2nd place, but I already paid the $100.00 and I don't think it is refundable. The surgeon who charges less actually has some patents on lenses. He invented one that can be adjusted while in the eye. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the information!
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Postby JustLooking » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:33 am

My doctor charges 800.00 per eye, plus another 300.00 per eye for the Custom Lasik or PRK. Mine was 2200.00 total for both eyes since I went with the Custom. If I need an enhancement, though, it will cost 500.00 per eye for Custom (300.00 for regular) if done within two years of my original PRK.

All of the doctors and clinics seem to have their own little pricing schemes. I guess you really need to read the fine print when it comes to extra costs and enhancements and such. Like you, my 150.00 exam was refunded when I paid for the surgery.

I also had the cost of a hotel room for four days, but my Flexible spending account will pick up most of that cost, too.
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Postby Cindy G » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:13 am

I don't think either one of the doctors that I am considering charge for enhancements. I would hope not with as much as they charge. I wonder what percentage of people need enhancements. I think the higher myopic you are the more of a chance you have of needing an enhancement. That is one more reason I would love to have the adjustable inmplants.

I also wonder if they area you live in has an effect on the price.
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:38 am

Cindy G wrote:I wonder what percentage of people need enhancements.


I can answer that for you. According to the USAEyes Competence Opinion Relative to Expectations (CORE) patient survey, 10.9% of vision correction patients reported that they required more than one surgical procedure.
Glenn Hagele
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USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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