The PRK process from start to finish

Discussion in 'PRK' started by mxracer19, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Flyer09

    Flyer09 Final Select NFO

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    OK I had my PRK Procedure this morning. I have almost zero discomfort or pain. The only thing that is causing me problems are these darn contact lenses they put in. Without them I would bet I would have no problems what-so-ever so far. MY vision is still a little blurry and goes between really sharp and really blurry. So far things are going great. I'll post back again after my check-up tomorrow or if things get any worse.
  2. mxracer19

    mxracer19 Hanging out in K-Vegas.

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    Well gents, after returning from PLC Jr's this past week and checking airwarriors, I noticed MPH's post from 28 JUNE on PRK. Since the title of my thread is "The PRK Process from Start to Finish", I figure I'll go ahead and finish it off.

    It has now been one full year and some odd days since having my eyes lased. For some time now I have had perfect vision. There are no ghost images, there are no rings, and I am no longer light-sensitive at all. Indeed, my vision is 20/20 on a bad day, closer to 20/15 on the good ones. For some time my night vision had been deteriorated, however it slowly improved and today I have no problems seeing in the dark. I see better now than I ever had with contacts. I have no problems with dryness or irratation. With well-rested eyes, my vision is especially crisp in the mornings.

    And so goes the summary of my PRK process. Have fun with your new eyesight if you intend to get the process done. Best 5 grand I ever spent...



    -Matt
  3. ironman5247

    ironman5247 New Member

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    So none of you had any issues at all? I was talking with my recruiter, and he led me to believe that the risk of halos (permanently DQing) was fairly common. I graduate from UNC Charlotte in May, and I was told I would need to wait 1 year after the surgery to apply, while on here the memo posted says 3 or 6 months depending. I'll bring it up to him.

    I am going to try to get the surgery done this month. I will apply for OCS as a SNA in March after my eyes heal.

    And might I just say how awesome this site is -- Wonderful information.
  4. nugget61

    nugget61 Active Member None

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    I'm only 2.5 weeks post op, but no real NPQ problems yet; I'm told a full recovery will take upwards of 2 months (for fully stabilized vision).
    You're OR might be trying to scare you into another designator that has less stringent vision standards... looks like you're on the right track to do whats best for yourself though, but I don't think you can make the March boards.
  5. aviaar

    aviaar New Member

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    Regarding the waiver process, as an officer applicant (not in the military yet), what forms do I need to fill out before getting the PRK procedure? Or do I just need to make sure that all of my pre-op specs are well documented by the doctor performing the surgery? The recruiter I have been talking to does not know much about the waiver process, but hopefully someone here knows.
  6. nugget61

    nugget61 Active Member None

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    Thats what I did
  7. Vas Deferens

    Vas Deferens SNA

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    First of all, I would like to thank all of the members of this forum for sharing gouge that I have found extremely helpful. I had PRK a few weeks ago and thought I would offer yet another description of the process since I read so many accounts before the surgery, all of which were very helpful. Mxracer and Nugget have provided great gouge.
    Preliminary:
    After I discussed PRK with my OR, I began the process by asking my usual eye doctor who he would professionally recommend to perform PRK. After doing a lot of shopping around and research, I called and set up a free consultation with the surgeon. I’ll call him Dr. V. At the consultation, they basically did a standard vision test, dilated my eyes, checked ocular pressure, and told me what to expect. The consultation is to determine whether or not you are a viable candidate for PRK. Dr. V told me that patients should be older than 21 to ensure that their eyes are not still changing. I set up a time for the surgery and he wrote me a prescription for pain medication. The total cost was $4600. $2300 up front and then $200/month after that. I had Wavefront Guided PRK wich is more expensive but customizes the surgery to your eyes. The laser they used was the LADARvision 4000. Check out more info on their site:
    http://www.whiteeye.net/laser.html#prk
    Day 1:
    My surgery was at 1530 on Thursday, June 11. They like to do surgery on Thursday so you can recover over the weekend. My GF came along with me because I had to have a driver and she was curious. So after paying for half the procedure up front, I went back to the little room where they gave me a Valium to relax me, but I never really felt it kick in, and the Dr made small dots on my eyes to guide the wavefront. After about 20 min, they led me into the surgery room. First I sat in front of the Wavefront machine which was basically just looking into it for a few seconds. They then applied numbing drops (these really work amazing) and led me over to the table and the laser.
    The surgery was amazingly simple. They taped back my eye lashes and used metal spreaders to keep my eye open. I was nervous about this part and afraid I would want to blink. It was a lot easier than I anticipated. So as I stared at a flashing red light in the machine above my head, the Dr began removing the epithelial cells with a microspatula. I could not feel anything, just a bit of pressure. This took about a minute; then they fired the laser for about 30 sec while I looked straight into the red light. The laser was blue and looked pretty cool. Then he put a bandage contact lens in my eye. Then they repeated the process for the other eye. The whole thing was less than 4 minutes. All in all, it was a cakewalk. Watching it was way worse for my GF than for me actually doing it. She said it looked brutal. I’ve heard it as simple as getting your teeth cleaned, I would amend that to say it was simple as a haircut.
    After the surgery, they gave me drops (FML, some kind of saline, and drops for pain) and told me to get a lot a sleep. I never used the pain drops and they slow the healing anyway. I was supposed to use FML 4x/day for a week, then 3x/day the next week and so on until I slowly end the dosage. My vision after the surgery was actually fine and I could have driven, but I don’t think that would’ve been a smart idea. There was no pain at all and I left with just a pair of sunglasses. The rest of the day was uneventful, I mostly slept, watched TV, and put in drops.
    Day 2:
    Post op checkup at 0800. Vision still good. Still no pain until late afternoon. Around 1700, my eyes really started to feel uncomfortable, not really bad but not pleasant so I took a Demoral and slept a lot. Don’t rub your eyes. You don’t want to lose that contact.
    Day 3:
    Day 3 was just what everyone had warned me. My eyes felt like I had sunscreen in them. I kept some cold washcloths in the freezer to put on them, but mostly I just stayed doped up on the Demoral and slept. My vision continued to get worse. They also teared up a lot. I would best describe it as the feeling of really dirty contacts if you squirted some sunscreen in your eyes. This is what the drugs are for. They helped me rest.
    Day 4:
    Same as day 3 with much worse vision.
    Day 5:
    5 day post op checkup. Got the contacts out. Dr V says everything looks great and healing normally. Vision continues to get worse. Couldn’t read or anything. The pain has abated for the most part. Only occasionally they feel dry so I use some moisturizing drops. They feel much better without the contacts.
    Remain Patient, it gets better fast.
    More to come…




  8. capitoljake13

    capitoljake13 New Member

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    doctor's orders...

    spotting this thread in the recent posts reminded me of a topic I wanted to bring up.

    I'm three months post-op this Friday (a quick summary would be: no pain first 48 hours, LOTS of pain on days 3 and 4, a little vision fluctuation for a month, 20/15 the previous two.. still a bit of a focusing issue when reading)

    Anyway, my doc prescribed Muro-128 for one year post op. I'm sure others have had this prescribed. It's an ointment to go onto your eye at night.

    My question is, NAMI guidelines etc. for PRK point out that candidates may NOT be on any required topical medications at time of training (with the exception of artificial tears) ... Would my doc's year-long medication be grounds for waiver denial? Should I request that he re-word his papers to only use the ointment for six months? ... (Or is it even slightly possible that a candidate filing a PRK waiver is over-worrying)
  9. nugget61

    nugget61 Active Member None

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    I told my doc about the no topical thing and he told me to just take the tears as needed... I didn't want to have the recruiting waiver folks turn me down and then need to reapply, as they are taking too long already to get back to people (finishing week 6 now that they've had my paperwork)
  10. capitoljake13

    capitoljake13 New Member

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    Did he make a note of it in any of your paperwork? i.e. - My concern is that if the doc's current recommendation to use the muro128 for a year shows up anywhere on my paperwork submitted for the waiver... well, you follow
  11. cdmike112

    cdmike112 New Member

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    My waiver was submitted to NAMI in late April. On my last check up with my doctor it stated that I was still taking FML. On top of that I experienced starbursting for 3+ months after the procedure, which was also documented in my paper work. My waiver was approved a week and a half ago. From what the people at NAMI told me, it sounds like a vast majority of PRK waivers are approved as long as your vision is 20/20 or better and you have no side effects. I ended up getting a hold of the waiver department and NAMI and got my paper work pushed through. I guess two optometrists recently left and now the whole process is back logged. I completed a flight physical in April at Mirimar and my waiver and prk paper work were submitted with the physical.
  12. Vas Deferens

    Vas Deferens SNA

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    Today marks one month post-op. After 3 weeks of extreme fluctuation and hardly being able to read except 4 inches from the screen, I am now seeing better than I ever did with glasses or contacts. I have no dryness, glaring, starbursts, halos, etc. Reading is back to normal finally. The only fluctuation seems to be late at night when I've been up since 6am. During the day, read signs in the distance that people with contacts can't. I would estimate that I'm 20/20 maybe 20/15. This was totally worth the money and frustration.

    Just curious about why some of you are on alot more meds than I am. I applied Zymar and FML 4x/day for the first 4 days and have been slowly reducing FML dosage every week. I am down to 1 drop/day until my check up next week. My doc never mentioned anything about medicating for 6mo to a year. He's one of the best in my state so I'm trusting him. Maybe it's because my pre-op refractive error was only -1.50 or 20/60 and the laser wasn't on very long.
  13. capitoljake13

    capitoljake13 New Member

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    I wouldn't be concerned either way with doctors orders as they all seem to vary depending on the doctor's own personal experience. Example, my error was only -2.00 and my surgeon was the first to perform PRK in my state 20 some-odd years ago so he's got the experience but he seems to prescribe lots of treatment. I'm also taking 1000 mg vitamin-C daily on his recommendation for up to a year. I assume, with the word of my brother-doctor, this is to assist the growth of optimum healing cells as vitamin-C is high in anti-oxidants. It seems a little excessive as any one who eats fruit 5 times a week gets all the vitamin C their body will process anyway and the rest is down the urinary tract.

    I also used Zymar, an antibiotic for four days post-op.

    I'm unfamiliar with the FML but a quick google search earlier lead me to think it was similar to the Muro-128 ointment I'm using. However, following your dosage I would think it to be the steroid drop (I use Pred Forte). The steroid, and correct any misconceptions, speeds up corneal cell growth and reduces inflamation. I'm still on it (four x/day first month, three x/ day second month, etc.) The ointment I'm referring to is meant to prevent any cell damage due to dry eyelids overnight. To be honest I sleep more nights without it than I do with. They seem a bit more dry without it but it's mess on my eyelids in the morning.

    Anyway, in all the people I've followed on here the last six months none of them seem to follow the same medication post-op.. and more importantly, nearly all of them end up with perfect vision. Also, I don't mean to insult any ones intelligence with all the above descriptions (esp. those post-op'ers who have done their research). It's just that when I was using this site as a reference it was nice to know what people were talking about.
  14. nugget61

    nugget61 Active Member None

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    I told him before he prescribed anything, so it was never an issue for me. You could call NAMI and find out what they want to see and have your doc do that.

    Do you mean you talked to the recruiting command and got it pushed through? Applicants stuff doesn't go to NAMI, only after OCS do they see it. I'm still trying to get mine pushed through, so any #s you could provide of who to talk to would be great - at this point their slow speed is really hurting me.

    Your coming along just like I did, so it all sounds good for you. We were ~same preop, and our meds seem comparable (I might have taken FML for a week or so more than you). My doc just told me to take the rewetting drops frequently to ensure they stay healthy (I'm in the allergy capital of the world).
  15. tisrael

    tisrael New Member

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    It takes time

    After surgery you will be seeing much better, but not perfect. For PRK, the initial recovery is fast, happening within a month. The tough part is getting bad eyes to 20/20 takes time. I had my eyes done about a year ago and they still feel like they are getting better. Put the drops in and don't rub your eyes. Makes a big difference. Best of luck.

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