Getting PRK

Discussion in 'PRK' started by klucz, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    I just went to the eye doctor today for my consultation. I found out i would be a candidate for either Lasik or PRK, but obviously am getting the PRK. I have -2.00 diopers and an extremely slight astigmatism. I was quoted $3900 for wavefront PRK. This doctor is located in Chicagoland area, so keep that in mind for pricing. My doc recommended against LASEK due to the issues involved with the epithelium flap healing unevenly and how most of the time it doesn't work and ends up removed anyway. I had a laundry list of questions for him, most of which came from looking up things on this forum. Also, he had done a few navy ROTC guys and is familiar with what to give me in regards to getting a waiver. I am planning on getting the surgery sometime mid-july.
  2. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    I had Wavefront PRK today, at 8am. They had me come in at 715 so that I could get the WaveScan before the procedure. They gave me a Valium to mellow me out, and then did the WaveScan for the custom PRK.

    The WaveScan was a little machine that had a small red light in the shape of two lines pointing toward each other like the Infiniti car logo. They did that for both eyes, then gave me an Ativan to help take the edge off more. Then I went directly into the procedure room.

    They had me sit down in a chair that reclined all the way and then swiveled under the laser. The doctor put in two different sets of numbing drops, then put a sticker over my eyelashes so they would not get in the way. Then they taped my left eye closed, and put the spreader in my right eye to hold the eyelid open. Next, they continued to put in these drops, that felt very cold, until I was to tell them that i felt "an ice cream headache". Once that was achieved, they used something that looked and sounded like an electric toothbrush to rub off the epithelium. They tell you to look at this little red-yellow light that is blinking, but its not easy when they are covering your eye with that rubbing instrument. I didn't feel any pain at all and would describe the sensation equal to closing your eyelid and placing your finger on the eye. You notice there is something there, but can't really feel it. Then they used small sponges to clean the pupil area. Then the fun came. The laser was used for 18 seconds. The entire time the nurse just kept repeating keep looking at the light, and you are doing fine. Also, I never smelled any burning at all, like some people do when the laser is going off. Then they rinsed the eye with saline, and applied the bandage contact, and repeated everything on the other eye.

    After both were done, they slid the chair back and up and the doctor took a look to make sure everything went correctly, which it did, and we walked out to the waiting area. They gave me two different sets of drops both were anti-inflammatory, along with a set of artificial tears if I needed them. I was also given a prescription for Vicodin. The eye drops were to be put in 4 times a day unless I was asleep which then it is ok to miss a dose. Immediately after, I had a hard time actually having my eye open, but after I had a nap, it became easier to see for longer periods of time.

    I would say that as of right now, I can see better than I could without my glasses, but not as good as with them on. I do have mild light sensitivity and have been wearing the old-man sunglasses nonstop. In addition, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning to check how healing is progressing. I will keep this post up as the days go on.
  3. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    Day 2:
    Light sensitivity is very high. I had to turn down my monitor just to be able to type and even then it is very difficult. I woke up and could barely open my eyes. I had a follow up with my surgeon in the morning. He did a rough check to see how well i could read the eye board, and was surprised at how well I could read it only after one day. Next follow up is on Monday to remove the bandage contacts. He said that he could see the epithelium starting to grow back. Had to cancel my weekend trip because it was just to difficult to see outside of my darkened bedroom. Slept most of the day, and am trying to keep up with my eye drops. The doctor told me that if I sleep through a dose, it's OK because it is better to sleep than take the drops. My sleeping pattern is shot to hell because I will sleep for two hours or so then be up for a while. That is probably the worst part of it all.
  4. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    Day 3:
    By far the worst day. Light sensitivity was off the scale. I had to put up blankets over my windows, and didn't venture out of my room unless i had to either put in eyedrops or grab something to eat. Netflix is a godsend. I have the TV on just so I have something to listen to, and most of my day was sleep.

    Day4:
    Light sensitivity went way down, which is good. Still pretty difficult outside in the sun though. Pretty much stayed in my little Howard Hughes blacked out room and watched TV on low backlight. And when I say watch, I mean mostly listen with my eyes closed.

    Day 5:
    10am Doc appt. Got my bandage contacts out, and man did that feel good. Although eyes were a little scratchy right after, but I took a nap and afterward that went away. No longer have to take antibiotic drops, but still doing the steroid drops 4 times a day. next appointment is in 2 weeks. I can finally walk around indoors without the need of sunglasses, mostly. Still a little difficult to read the monitor, and small print is so-so, so my browser has the font way up. Hopefully everything will get better day by day.

    BTW, my left eye is not as good as the right as of current for eyesight. Hopefully this will change with time, but I can't help feeling a little concerned. My eyesight was always equal, so this is a new experience for me. But I have not noticed any halo or starbursts.
  5. ajohn921

    ajohn921 New Member

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    Thanks for the posts! My procedure is on Monday, and I'm starting to get a little bit nervous, but your info has helped. My doc recommends minimizing watching TV, going on the computer or reading. I've never been a huge sleeper, but how easy is it to nap during recovery and what kinds of activities did you do (aside from napping) to keep from dying of boredom during your recovery?
  6. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    sleep will be easy the first few days, for two reasons. One, your eyes will actually get tired much faster than normal due to the surgery and the fact that they are trying to heal. Two, VICODIN. And as for keeping from being bored off your ass, the best thing I did was put on a movie (I used netflix but a dvd works too) and just laid down with my eyes shut and listened to the movie or show. Stand up comedy works best, along with any of your really favorite movies that you can pretty much play in your head, cuz that is what you will do.
  7. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    Update: everything seems to be the same since getting the contacts out. However, yesterday when I woke up, my left eye (the one that needs catching up) was seeing as good as the right. This only was temporary, and very shortly after, the eyesight regressed back to blurry. I think this is a good sign that it will catch up as the days go by. I just keep telling myself PATIENCE. Of course it doesn't help that I am reading a whole bunch of PRK post op blogs and forums, both good and bad stories. By which I mean, there are some bad results seen by people, and I might be freaking myself out a little as I wait and heal. Too soon to bother with that, as it is only day 10.
  8. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    Day 12: Something I wasn't expecting yesterday

    Well, I ran out of steroid drops yesterday, and immediately called the doc to figure out how to get more drops for fear of missing a dose and screwing something up. I was told, "you don't need any more, you are done when you run out of that bottle." The reasoning was that due to my pre-op numbers being low, I won't have an issue with regression like higher prescriptions would. In addition, I didn't need to taper down from 4x a day because my steroid drops were not a high strength. This kinda worried me, till I looked up more info online and found that I was not the only one getting only 10 days or so of steroid drops. I have my next check up on Monday and will be making sure to have the doc check my IOP and also curious if he used mitomycin during the surgery to help reduce inflammation. Right eye is pretty much as good as when i had contacts, but the left is still lagging. The left eye is getting noticeably better every day though, and every time I wake up, it holds as good vision as the right for longer and longer, then goes back to slightly blurry. Night vision is good as far as I can tell.
  9. KingsburyK

    KingsburyK API Warrior

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    I'm 3 months post-op, went from 20/200 to 20/15. Your vision WILL level out, it just varies from person to person. I remember all those eye drops! Thing of the past now, thank God...

    My doc used mitomycin during my procedure, but for the prevention of corneal haze (as I'm from FL, UV light exposure was his main concern post-op). I'm unsure if mytomycin is applicable for inflammation treatment, but the two issues could be linked, I don't know.
  10. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    hmmm good point, I could have misspoke about mitomycin and inflammation instead of hazing. but thanks for the vote of confidence in my eyesight leveling out!
  11. IRfly

    IRfly Registered User None

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    The first couple of days suck and are scary (will I ever see again?!?!?). Now my vision is 20/10 and it's awesome.
  12. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    2 week check-up:

    I ran out of artificial tears (sample size) over the weekend and went to the doc today for the 2 week check. My right eye is 20/20, left is 20/25. My left eye is also "dry" according to the doc, and he said that the left eye has a slight astigmatism, but should go away as I finish healing. I asked him to check my IOP, and it was low, so that is good to hear, and I got a bunch of artificial tear samples to hold me over till my next appointment in one month.

    Also, I asked if he used mitomycin during my procedure and he said that with a mild prescription like mine, he does not use it, but 6+ he always does, and 4-6, he sometimes uses it.
  13. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    well it's been a while since I posted, been busy with school and work. I went back twice to for checks, and my left eye is still 20/25 with astigmatism, right eye 20/20. This is after 3 checks over 3 months and so the Doc scheduled enhancement on the left eye for 10/27. this means more drops, more Ray Charles glasses, and more dark room fun. Oh well, as long as all goes well, it will be worth it. Right now, it feels like my eyesight is pretty darn good, but i can tell that the left eye isn't there yet. I had my doc give me non preservative drops, which are better than the ones I had, but overall, there has not been much dryness. Night vision is great, and have not noticed any problems at all.
  14. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    well, had the surgery today at 0800.
    only difference from this time and last time was how the epithelium was removed. No electric scrubber, he used a metal tool to scrape it off, and then the laser went for 19 seconds. Although, it sure as hell felt more like 9. really fast this time, maybe because it was only on the one eye, and I had already went through it once before.

    Afterwards, I tried to go to sleep, and the pain hit like a ton of bricks, very different than last time. I had what felt like something was in my eye, and couldn't rub it or get it out. eyes watered continuously, and when i looked in the mirror, it was beet red. Thankfully I fell asleep finally and when I woke up, my prescription for Vicodin was filled.

    Hopefully things will dull down, and it is nice to be able to see out of one eye, so it shouldn't be as much of a pain in the ass. I have a post op check with the doc tomorrow morning, and we will see how it goes from there. Only downside is that this pushes back my ability to go flying back by another 6 months until i can get checked by my flight surgeon.
  15. klucz

    klucz New Member

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    quick post op check this morning. 40% first layer healing, protective contact to come off monday. pain is still definitely there, sleep pattern is fubar at best, slept from 1100-1900, 2030-0000, 0230-0845, and i could fall asleep right now again at 1000.

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