PRK or Lasik (in Edmonton). Questions...

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.

PRK or Lasik (in Edmonton). Questions...

Postby CNeufeld » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 pm

So after another round of trying to get proper vision up here in Edmonton, I'm considering going with surgery. Hopefully, the stats you need to help respond:
41 year old male.
Stable prescription (no signs of needing reading glasses yet)
OD: -1.0/-0.75x135
OS: -0.5/-1.25x060

My eyes are dry enough that wearing contacts are an issue, although I would never think it when I'm not wearing them. Edmonton is a particularly dry climate, especially in the winter. I work on computers all day, probably 10 to 12 hours per day on average. I don't do many sports, but do have reasonably active kids I'd like to keep up with.

I also live a 30 to 60 minute drive from work, without the ability to take extended periods of time off.

From what I've read, the PRK recovery is longer and more troublesome than LASIK recovery, but the long-term effects (in particular, dry eyes) seem to be less problematic than LASIK. But while I'm not particularly concerned about the pain, a long period (more than a month) of poor vision (in particular, not being able to use a computer or drive) would be an issue for me.

So I guess my questions would be:
1) Any comments on any surgery's value to me? I understand that I'll likely be looking at reading glasses within a few years, but I can live with that.
2) Any comments on PRK vs. LASIK? I am concerned about dry eyes, as with contacts, I can simply pull them out if they bother me too much. After surgery, not so much.

I'm looking at a few places in the Edmonton area, but if someone has suggestions, I'd appreciate it. I understand that posting vendors is a no-no, so I won't bother, but please PM if you have input on that particularly. If I go through with it, I'll likely try to have it done in the next 4 months or so, so I can recover during the less dry summer here.

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Postby CNeufeld » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:47 pm

Oh, and I am taking flax seed oil (1000mg tablets, twice per day), on the advice of my optometrist to try to correct the dry eyes. I started approximately Dec 30, and there seems to be some improvement, but not as much as I need to wear contacts consistently. I got my contacts (Proclear Torics) on about Jan 3. I find I can wear them at home for up to 8 hours (so far), but not so good in the office.

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Postby CNeufeld » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:33 pm

Going in this Friday for an evaluation... See what comes of it.

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Postby CNeufeld » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:56 am

So I went in for my evaluation, and here's what they found:

Corneas: 491/500 thickness with scanned measurement, 529/536 with manual measurement

Aberrations: 8.5% L / 15.4% R

Pupils: 4.5mm

So according to them, they'd recommend a "CustomVue" correction, primarily due to the level of aberrations. Due to my moderate prescription (20/70), I should reasonably expect 20/20 corrected vision.

However, the things I didn't like about this place was:
1) Claim of 99.99995% of patients with my level of correction (<3 diopters) end up with 20/20 vision. Not sure I buy that. 95% with 3 to 6 diopters end up with 20/20 (their stats).
2) They couldn't tell me (didn't know) what percentage of the people who come in end up being told their not candidates.
3) They didn't do any tear quality/quantity tests, but felt (based on my description) that dry eyes shouldn't be a permanent condition for me.

They recommended Intralase (all-laser) as additional insurance against dry eyes ($400 to $600 per eye upgrade). They also include temporary plugs for free, and permanent ones as an "upgrade".

With the CustomVue correction, they include lifetime enhancements. Otherwise, it's one year, and about $500 per eye after that first year. In all cases, one year of unlimited visits are included.

Any thoughts? My first inclination is that it's good to know I'm a reasonable candidate for a procedure, but I'm not sure I'm happy with their answers/proposed solutions. I think a second or third opinion would be good. BTW, I got the numbers right for the aberrations, I think, but I'm not sure how to interpret them (yet).

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Postby HowTheil » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:47 pm

Looks like we both are on the same path. My LASIK is/was schedule for next week, but the readings a few days ago indicated that my corneas are slightly steeper on the bottom. Sure which I knew the actual numbers to post. If they don't change, they advise against LASIK, but went into detail about PRK for my condition. They would still use the Wavefront device.

My only concern about PRK is the unknown recovery time (like your 1st post). Since they will only do one eye at a time, this basically pushed my out of pocket time to nearly a a few months (if not longer) i.e. - in glasses for 3 weeks / 1 PRK / 5 days to ? until next / 2 PRK / 5 day to ? until being able to function. Then....x days until my sight is on par with my contacts (I hope).

I keep telling myself to be patient and think long term, but the challenge of keeping up at work and training for upcoming races (I'm an elite cyclist) keeps me wondering whether I should wait until the fall.

Sorry for the rant....are there any studies which show the typical recovery time for PRK? Of course, my Doc says don't read into the stats as you could always be the exception.
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