Just Had PRK this summer

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Just Had PRK this summer

Postby icantseeyourface » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:13 pm

I used this site as a resource for investigation regarding corrective eye surgery. I had a couple of posts with questions and usually they were answered so I feel I should contribute.

I began my investigation into corrective surgery over 1 year ago. I went to 2 corrective centers, looking back I should have went to more but my eye doctor was affiliated with the second center and I trust her judgement as she is EXTREEMLY thorough in her examinations of my eyes.

My corneas were quite thin 490 and 500. My astigmatism lead to a major prescription of -7.5 in each eye. So essentially I was crippled w/o contacts or glasses.

Throughout my investigation I researched as much as I could find out about MY doctor, the surgeon, and the laser center. (Lawsuits, Malpractice, success rates etc..) i was extreemly concerned with side effects as well.

I had to switch to soft contacts about last Jan then to glasses at the end of JUNE. My surgery was JULY 13th (Great day of the month to have second thoughts)

Surgery day:
I was given a valium to relax (It didnt kick in untill after the surgery!)
Eyes dilated and plenty of numbing drops
I lay down in machine/ Doctor comes in and I am freezing because of the maxed out AC so I'm also shivering and nervous.
Left eye is clamped open and the scraping of the cornea begins, i thought he was brushing something on first.
Then the laser is activated, all I could think of is “Don’t move” and “what if I sneeze?”
This lasts about 30 seconds. The doctor then applies the bandage contact.

The same is repeated for the right eye.

Apparently, as I sat up after the procedure the contact lens in the left eye fell out! I didn’t notice. As I sat in the recovery room, I told the nurse that the vision and comfort in my left eye was different from my right eye. She said that is was normal. I left with a prescription for Vicoden and dark sunglasses.

That evening after all the pain meds wore off I was in extreme pain in the left eye. I called the emergency # and the doc stated that I probably lost the bandage contact. He stated that this would not affect the long term outcome.

The next day I returned to the center and after of a thorough search of my eyeball for the elusive bandage contact they applied another one. Of course in the 12 hours since the surgery the left half of my face had swollen up! Lesson: Make sure the bandage contacts are in before you leave!!

Weeks 1-2
The bandage contact usually stays in for 4-8 days. Mine stayed in for almost 8 days. I was extremely light sensitive and my vision fluctuated somewhat throughout the day. By the eighth day I was ready for the contact to come out. In my case the bandage contact helped with light sensitivity and vision. After the contact came out I was disappointed. I really wanted to be able to see clearly w/o contacts or glasses but it was not going to happen on this day. My vision was about 20/50.

Weeks 3-5
After the bandage contact came out I experienced extreme light sensitivity for the next few weeks. I couldn’t venture outdoors during the day( I was away on vacation at the beach) I usually had to wait until 5pm to enjoy the outdoors. The doctor had prescribed an even stronger steroid to assist with the healing. I monitored my progress each morning by focusing on the cable box time display. At this point I was really discouraged. The light sensitivity varied each day. Cloudy days were cherished!

Weeks 6-9
Light sensitivity has drasticly subsided but I still need to wear sunglasses outside. (I have always been light sensitive however). Vision has improved to about 20/20

Weeks 9+
The only problem I currently have is a slight starburst effect at night. Lights appear to have a starburst around them. I usually don’t notice it unless I am driving and am accustomed to it because whenever I had dirty contacts, which was quite often, I experienced the same affect.

In Conclusion

At an appointment, (Nov. 2) my doctor examined my eyes and told me that my corneas have healed perfectly. I have been evaluated at just above 20/20!

I have noticed that I am extremely sensitive to sliced raw onions! Never was before.

Words of advice:
I paid almost double of competing centers. You get what you pay for. The other center I went to actually came up with VERY different measurements of my cornea and told me I was not a candidate for any laser surgery but I may get IOL’s (Intra Ocular Lenses), these are for much older patients with very different problems!!

A friend on mine in the military stated that military personnel may get PRK but LASIK is NOT offered for soldiers engaging in combat situations because the cornea never fully heals with LASIK and that may be a liability in combat. I would rather a surgery that enables the cornea to fully heal.

Everyone is different. Vision does fluctuate during healing process as well as intensity of side affects. My friends eyes took about 3 months to stabilize.

PRK also removes LESS of your cornea. This may be a good thing if you need a correction in later years.

The only downside of PRK seems to be the length of recovery.

Best of Luck
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:13 pm

Re: Just Had PRK this summer

Postby LasikExpert » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:11 pm

Thanks for the detailed journal of your PRK experience!
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