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#412135 - 11/26/08 02:59 AM PRK eye surgery
alphawolf Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 137
My vision is pretty bad and I've been considering getting PRK done. If any of you have had the procedure done, can you give me a first hand account of what it feels like, both during surgery and post-op? I have heard the post-op pain can be severe on some accounts, comparable in pain to breaking a limb, while others have said it was very mild. Thanks.
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#412136 - 11/26/08 09:25 AM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: alphawolf]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I had the surgery in one eye only many years ago; probably about 9-10 years ago. First and foremost; I could not be happier with the results. PRK is the better of the eye surgeries out there. I go for yearly check ups with last week my last and now don't have to go back until February 2010. Eye still doing great.

The surgery is quick; extremely quick. They have already mapped your eye out several times prior and the computer knows what it needs to do. You get in the chair and they put some freezing drops in your eye and then insert a ring to hold your eye open. Don't worry, again this is a quick operation and it won't bother you too much. Unlike the other laser surgery they don't cut and flip back the eye, they "scrape" the eye ... and no it doesn't hurt. You hold still and look at the light and the laser contours your eye correctly. It will making a snapping sound and I can't remember if I could smell a burnt smell or not; been a long time. It takes "minutes" only and then they remove the ring and you see out that eye "perfectly". It is simply amazing that in a few minutes you can see.

For myself they put in a contact lens to protect the eye but I know of others that did not have this done so I can't guarantee you will. I felt fantastic and went home and was going to go back to work but decided what the heck and stayed home ... and thankfully I did. After the freezing came out it felt like there was sand in my eye.

They gave me little packs of freezing drops but told me to use sparingly as this slows down the healing. No matter what they say use the freezing when you have to because the sand feeling in your eye SUCKS. And ask for extra because I ended up going back the next day to get more.

I had the surgery on a Friday afternoon and that night without the freezing drops it bothered me quite a bit also knowing I couldn't rub my eye. Saturday morning I went in and got more freezing drops and Sunday wasn't bad. Monday was my day to return to have the contact lens removed and it felt like immediately relief. The eye felt strained ... perhaps the feeling is dry ... can't quite recall. Did not have to use freezing drops after that.

I did not weight lift that night but the following day I was back to my regular routine and each day the eye got progressively better. By the end of the week I was 100%; probably did not even take that long.

For the small amount of pain/irritation I had for the day or so does not compare to the years I have not had to wear glasses. Being able to wake up in the morning and seeing the alarm clock. Playing sports. Not have to worry about rain on my glasses. The constant cleaning of the glasses. All was a small price to pay.

In hind site compare to the real surgeries I had, and I've had several including an eye surgery where they removed my eyes from the sockets to cut the muscles to re-align my eyes (and why my eye sight deteriorated and needed this surgery), this was nothing. You will do fine. Remember things have come a long way in that amount of time since I had it so the surgery should be more refined. If the doctor is good then you got nothing to worry about.

Take care.
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#412137 - 11/26/08 09:38 AM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: Dereck]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I had Lasik done about 9-10 years ago. Highly recommended. No pain during the procedure, which took about 5 minutes per eye. I could see clearly the instant the doctor was done. Amazing!

Post-surgery was a bit painful - I couldn't keep my eyes open, so I just laid on the couch with my eyes closed for about 2 hours. Opened my eyes, and never had any more pain.

Have done full-contact and BJJ with no problems, although they tell you not to. Years of computer-work are finally starting to weaken vision in my eyes again. DOH.

Have them check your potential night-vision. The surgery made my day-time vision incredibly good, but made my night-time vision a bit worse. I get sparkly "star-point" effects from bright lights.
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#412138 - 11/26/08 12:34 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: MattJ]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I have a mild form of night blindness and even when wearing glasses that doesn't change and I also had the sparkle you speak of. I actually have less of it since the operation; and I don't have to wear glasses.

I'm on the computer every day at for for 8 hours minimum and don't have any issues. Plus I play a lot of video games (Xbox 360). Just remember to blink often. Remember to take period breaks; look away.

PRK is the most expensive of the eye surgeries but when I did my homework it was the most reliable and had the highest percentage of success. For my one eye 9-10 years ago it was $2000. If you don't mind me asking how much is yours costing? One eye or both?
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#412139 - 11/26/08 01:06 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: Dereck]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Both eyes. $5000.
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#412140 - 11/26/08 01:15 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: MattJ]
JasonM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 2502
It is interesting this topic has come up. I was just talking with a co-worker today about lasik. I must admit I never heard of PRK. So the difference is scraping to cutting? ANd price?

I want to do it but so afraid of the side affects. I hear the chances are very small but still. A few people I know that has had the surgery love it and said it was the best money they spent. Again, I just worry about ruining my night vision, blurriness, etc.

I would love to wake and be able to see and not search for my glasses. Normally I wear contacts but that can be a pain to. Especially when the contact slides off your eye and goes dunder your eye lid...Totally weird feeling..

I might have to give the surgery some more thought. At least now I can ask my Doc between PRK and Lasik...
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#412141 - 11/26/08 04:22 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: JasonM]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I know quite a few people that have had Lasik and have no problems at all and are very happy. I know only one or two that have had PRK. When doing my homework years ago PRK had the highest success rate. PRK also required a higher professional to do this. PRK was also under more stringent restrictions and lenses for the lasers were replaced far more which is why PRK was more successful. Things could have changed over the years as well.

I couldn't be happier. It is the best $2000 I have ever spent and no regrets. PRK still is expensive and I think for a reason. In my area you can get both eyes done for Lasik for as low as $500. While PRK may have come down some you will never get it done at that cost. People that shop around ... that scares me when it comes to something like this.

I hesitated for a long time and that is why I did the research prior. I took the more costly because I could have had both eyes done for Lasik at that time for $2000, while for PRK it was $2000 per eye. It was a no brainer to take the more successful surgery, pay the extra and know that with this I have free eye appointments with the surgeon every year where I'm checked out to make sure still on track. I actually enjoy going to see my eye doctor and the people that work there each year.

Do your research. Talk to people. Talk to the eye doctor(s) for their opinion. Talk to the people that do the surgery. Look up information online. And then make your decision. That is what I did ... well except online as was not really that much information at that time available like now.
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"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#412142 - 11/26/08 04:27 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: Dereck]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I should also mention that I originally was going to re-apply to the Police and why I was getting this done. They preferred PRK over Lasik which I also remember that the air force/military required this as well. That also played a part in my decision.

PRK "does" take longer to heal from. PRK lasers the outer portion of the eye to contour it where as Lasik lasers the centre of the eye to contour it. Plus Lasik has the flap they have to cut. I think this is why the Police, Air Force and Military opted for their people to have PRK due to possible complications, infection or future problems. Can't remember all that well now.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#412143 - 11/26/08 11:24 PM Re: PRK eye surgery [Re: Dereck]
JasonM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 2502
thanks..

I am definitely gonna look into it further.
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