Just had PRK 10/24

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Just had PRK 10/24

Postby dsorrent » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:26 pm

Hi all,
I've been reading the forums for quite some time and just had my PRK surgery this past Friday. According to the doctors, I had fairly thick corneas and could opt for either intralase or PRK. I chose PRK because I didn't want to deal with flap complications down the road. I'm 35y/o male and I was -5.00 in both eyes with a slight astigmatism in my left eye. I'll recount my procedure here as well as my post op experiences.

On the day of the procedure before I went to the office, I took black garbage bags and taped them over my bedroom windows. My wife thought I was crazy, but I'm glad I did. as I was definitely light sensitive following the procedure.

So, I went into the office and took 5mg diezapam as perscribed by the surgeon. Prior to going into the surgery room, the surgeon examined my left eye with the slit light and placed some marks on it with a marker to note the direction of the astigmatism. He said that in some cases, the eyeball can actually rotate slightly when someone lies down so this is to enure that the astigmatism correction is on the correct axis.

After this we proceeded into the RIDICULOUSLY COLD surgery room. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt covered by a long sleeve shirt and was still shivering. I lied down on the table and the covered my left eye with a patch. The put some numbing drops in my right eye. Next they put a ring around my right eye and filled it with alchohol solution. Someone kept time, apparenty it was crucial this not last more than 32 seconds. They removed the alcohol and scraped off the epithedral layer then flushed the eye with water. For me, this was probably the most uncomfortable aspect. I can't open my eyes in the pool under water, and it's the same feeling. Now, above my eye was a white round circle with a red dot in the middle. I was told to stare at the red dot while the laser worked. Now, I did my best to do so, but that red dot moved slightly and I kept trying to stare right at it so my eye moved a bit. I could hear the laser (Visx 4) pause when I did this and then contnue when I stopped. So, after I did this twice I realized to just stare where the red light was originally and not move. While the laser scans across my eye, it smelled like burning hair, if you've ever smelled that. Also, I noticed the red dot itself sort of spread out and had a darkness in the middle of it as the laser progressed. Once the laser was done, they flushed the eye with water again and then they took what I could only guess looked like a metal eyelet. It was this stick with a round metal thing on the end which was apparently frozen and they held that to my eye for a certain number of seconds. Again the time was crucial and counted out but I can't recall the exact length, I want to say it was like 12-14 seconds. During this period I lost sight in my eye as it all turned into a frosted white. The doctor told me this was to help with the pain. They flushed my eye out with a couple different fluids, I'm not sure what they all were because at this point, after losing my vision completely, even though I knew that would happen, is still a shock to the system. They placed the "bandage contact" on my eye and the right eye was done. Things moved pretty quickly, that whole recount took maybe 3-4 minutes if that. They then switched the patch from the lef tot the right eye and proceeded the same process with the left eye. Afterwards I felt a bit woozy. I was prescribed Gabapentin 300 MG Capsule 3x/day which they said was to help deaden the nerves and for pain, Meprozine 50/25 Capsules, 1 or 2 capsules every 4 to 6 hours. Now the pain medication was the second choice of the doctors, thier first was Loritab, however, I've had a bad reaction to Loritab in the past, so this was the alternative they use. For drops they gave me Pred Forte 4x/day which is a steroid and an antibiotic in the form of Vigamox, 4x/day. They sent me home with a followup for Monday morning. Apparently they just see Intralase patients the day after and see PRK's after the weekend.

It was about 3pm when I went home, took my fist Gabapentin, a round of drops and only one pain pill to sleep. I woke back up around 9 or so and felt like I had an eye lash in my right eye. While I know I've read this is a common feeling, of course I was convinced I knew better. Well, I didn't. In fact, what happened was the worst possible scenario. I had my wife come and look in my eye and she didn't see anything so I had this idea that I'd hold open my eye while she flushed it with the artificial tears. Well, as you can expect, the bandage contact flushed right out. Big mistake. I left a message for the doctor but when he didnt get back to me within the hour, I took 2 if the pain killers and went to sleep. About 5 hours later I was up again in pain, 2 more pills to make it to the morning. Now let me just describe the pain a bit. Basically, you know when you burn your skin and you get that throbbing/searing feeling? It's that on your eyeball. Your eye feels like it throbbing and searing is the best I can describe it. I was back at the doctor first thing Saturday morning and the moment he put the numbing drops in, the pain was gone, instantly. I asked how come they don't give those to patients to take home and he said that it actually hinders the epithedral layer re-growth, so they don't send them home with patients. He placed a new contact back in my eye and then examined the epithedral. He said I had healed already 50% which he said was slightly faster than he expected. I headed home, took one more pain pill and rested the remainder of the day. That was actually the last pain pill I took. On Saturday and Sunday I noticed the eye that the bandaged contact fell out of seemed to be alot more blurry than my left eye. It almost felt like I had a contact in with a smudge on it. I'd say I spent probably 95% of Saturday in my bedroom lying down with my eyes closed and probably 90% of Sunday doing the same. I kept on schedule with my drops (wake up, lunch time, dinner time, bed time) as well as with the nerve pill 3x a day. I drank a ridiculous amount of water during this period as well. I'd probably guess it was closer to 1-1.5 gallons a day. For someone who doesn't normally drink water, this is alot. In my mind I was convinced this helped with the regeneration of tears as I was tearing for almost all day Saturday and most of Sunday.

Monday morning back to the doctor. He took a look and said the epitheral layer was 100% covering again and removed the bandage contacts. With squinting I tested 20/25 but there's no way I could drive. My right eye was still significantly more blurry than my left eye. He increased my steroid drop to 6x a day to help with the hazing/blurriness Im experiencing. I was able to go watch my daughters dance class that afternoon, although I had to take 2 advil later because I was having some headaches due to eye strain. Today is the first day both eyes seem about equal in thier clarity (or lack there of). It's the first time I even considered going on the PC and I saw Glen approved my forum membership and figured I'd post my experience to share with everyone else while I could still see. My eyes are tearing as I type this and it's a bit blurry, but I can still see the words. Any typos, I'd attribute to not being able to see, of course. :)

I have a follow-up on Friday with the doctor's office and I'll be sure to update this thread as I progress. Also, I saw that USA Eyes doesn't list any doctors offices in South Carolina. I had my procedure at [Redacted]Eye Center and the surgeon was Dr. [Redacted]. I've been pleased with my procedure and outcome so far, so I figured it might be worth mentioning thier name.

Anyway, thanks for this forum, it was very useful in researching my procedure and reading the progress of others helped convince me make my decision. I hope my post does as well for someone else.


Note: Post edited to remove doctor and clinic name.
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Postby LasikExpert » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:23 pm

Excellent detailed post! Please keep us informed as you progress.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
Site Admin
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Postby dsorrent » Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:26 pm

Well, after posting my experience I didn't do too much on the computer other than to check e-mails. I tried watching television for about a hour and then I noticed a "ripple" in my left peripheral vision in my left eye. It went away when I blinked and re-occurred sporadically. I took this as a sign to go lie down, which I did. When I got back up, the it didn't re-occur. Last night was garbage night so I did check out the street lamps as I put the garbage out. I have pretty large halo's going on for lights that are within 20-30 feet or so. More distant lights are more starburst shaped for me. I think based on this, I'll probably put off driving at night for a little while.

I forgot to mention, on Monday night when I went to bed for the night, I woke up every 2 hours or so and put refresh drops in my eyes. It was probably more the fear of my eyes drying out as opposed to them actually drying out. So for Tuesday night, I had my wife pick me up some Tylenol PM to help me relax a bit. I'm not sure this was the best thing either because since I didn't apply any artificial tears throughout the night, I woke up with REALLY dry eyes. I've had my eyes dry out before, but after PRK the drying out sensation is a bit more like if you ever fell asleep in those Once A Day contacts and woke up the next morning with them in. Except, there's no contacts in your eyes this time so it takes a bit longer for the sensation to go away after re-wetting them.

Anyway, today is my first day being on the PC for an extended period of time as I am back to work. I'm definitely finding that I need to apply the rewetting drops much more often, which is to be expected. But I'm having no issues with reading or anything on the PC.

The last thing I want to mention for now is, I read a previous post where someone said that the steam from the shower helped make their eyes feel better/recover. I couldn't agree more with this. I definitely recommend spending a couple extra minutes in the shower and let your eyes "take in" the steam. It's definitely been a relief to any eye strain I've had.

Unless things change drastically between now and then, I'll probably follow up here after my appointment on Friday.
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Postby dsorrent » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:01 pm

Noticed some ghosting in my left eye peripheral vision yesterday. It's really only noticable when I turn my head side to side. It's not too prominent. My right eye today is quite blurry though, much more so than the two days previous. I may have to go rest for a bit.
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:19 pm

Postby dsorrent » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:41 am

Had my followup this morning. I tested 20/20 in each eye which he said was exceptional for 1 week post PRK. However the doctor said he noticed I still have some corneal scarring. He has me on Pred-Forte 4x/day and said I'll probably be on it for about a month. I have another followup in a week.
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Postby dsorrent » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:16 pm

Just wanted to followup. Been having varied blurriness in the two eyes and I'm finding toward the mid/later day my eyes hurt a bit, not unlike the feeling you get from eye strain. I'm guessing it actually is eye strain as a result of my eyes trying to compensate for the blurriness. It's manageable with Advil, so I'm not too concerned yet. I may try a warm compress on my eyes tonight when I get home from work though, see if that gives me some relief.
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