Posts Tagged ‘epi-lasik’
In July of 2011, I had PRK laser eye surgery done. Shortly before, I wrote up a Primer on PRK vs Lasik that the reader may find interesting (TL;DR: Lasik is a dodgy quick-fix, avoid it, stick with PRK). Since then I expanded on the differences between PRK and Lasik, which hopefully provides the reader with all the questions they should be asking their laser eye surgeon: Lasik vs PRK: What the Lasik Doctor Doesn’t Tell You.
Before I went into the surgery, I did a great deal of research and found a dizzying array of variables that the prospective patient should take into account before choosing whether to have the surgery and where to have it performed. Resulting from this research I detailed the critically important questions that need to be asked before going under the laser: My Laser Eye Surgery, Part I: PRK Pre-Op Preparation. In a subsequent article, I described the PRK procedure itself: My Laser Eye Surgery, Part II: The PRK Operation.
Here, at long last is my account of my Post-PRK recovery. I’d written some of this in the months following my surgery for a friend who was considering the procedure, but for unknown reasons never posted it here. Well, here it is, some six-plus years later. And yes, I’m still extremely happy with my PRK experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat (though I’d look into the new epithelial-flap (not corneal-flap like Lasik!) methods like Lasek (note the e) or Epi-Lasik.
No pain, just a little dryness. Feels like you’ve had non-breathable contacts in overnight (which you have). Overall, the eyes were scritchy, but I was happy playing Ray Charles in the blacked-out apartment. I listened to a few audio books, took lots of drops constantly (never did the pain ones as I mentioned), and chewed gum to try to get rid of the awful taste of the antibiotic drops as they drip down the back of your throat (you’ll love that bit!). Got driven by my friend to my 1-day follow up and everything was looking good. It was a very bright trip, but not as bad as immediately post-op. I took another half sleeping pill that night, not so much because I was uncomfortable, but because I didn’t do anything all day and wasn’t really tired. I wanted to make sure I got a ton of sleep though, as that helps the healing process.
No pain but slightly more discomfort, you’re now at 48h wearing the same non-breathable bandage contact lens. I didn’t take any drugs (not even ibuprofen). Boredom was the worst part, but I entertained myself with frequent trips to the bathroom to pee from all the water I was drinking, by eating, with more audiobooks, and by listening to a couple DVDs with my eyes closed. I used my computer a tiny bit, but it was really bright, I couldn’t see very well (huge magnification required), and the strain wasn’t super good for me. That night I took another half of a sleeping pill for the same reasons.
This is the only day that was bad. My eyes were very dry, I’d now been wearing the same non-breathable contacts for 72h and my eyes were really dry and really scratchy, even with the constant lubrication of the eye drops. This is where the nickel really dropped on the preservatives in the eye drops, as my eyes were really dry and scratchy and they were no longer providing much relief at all, almost making it worse. I took a T3 in the morning and it was a lot better. I went to my 3-day follow-up. I took the skytrain and bus over there. My light sensitivity was not crazy bad, but I did have two pair of sunglasses on and a hat. My progress was going well, they lowered the frequency of the steroid drops on one eye, and kept the other at the same level. Best thing was that they replaced the bandage contact lenses with a new pair. Hallelujah! That felt a hundred times better. With the new pair, the pain and discomfort didn’t make its way past the T3s. I kept on the T3s every 4h or so, when the pain would come back (ever had super dry eyes? It’s like that), and then my wife came home with the new preservative free drops. That made a huge difference, and I was finally over the worst of it that evening. I took another half of a sleeping pill that night, just to make sure I got a good night’s sleep through the discomfort, but I did sleep well.
Laser eye surgery is a very popular procedure for correcting near- and far-sightedness as well as astigmatism. Since the first techniques were developed in the early 1980s, many millions of people have gone under the laser hoping to eliminate the need for contacts and glasses. I myself underwent PRK in July, 2011. As is my nature, before I leapt, I looked very closely at the available information on laser eye surgery. What I found was surprising, even disturbing.
If you think there is only one type (or ten types) of laser eye surgery commonly performed, you are seriously under-informed about the entire procedure.
It wasn’t until I spent a great many hours investigating the procedure in detail, that I realized how stunningly little information is available to those who are performing their own casual investigation into laser eye surgery. I am dismayed at the lack of information or the outright misinformation provided by practitioners of the surgeries, no doubt in order to prevent scaring off their potential clientele.
The truth is that there are a huge variety of laser eye surgeries, all masquerading under one or two common names. If you think there is only one type (or ten types) of laser eye surgery commonly performed, you are seriously under-informed about the entire procedure. For example, two people, each having had the Lasik variety of surgery performed, could have had completely different surgeries, using completely different procedures, and with completely different risks, side-effects, and expected outcomes.
It is absolutely critical to know exactly why you would choose PRK, Lasek, Epi-Lasik, or especially Lasik.
I hope the following article will provide prospective patients a strong base-level of necessary understanding of the currently available methods of laser eye surgery. Rather than trusting what I provide here as gospel, I prefer that the reader take this article as a jumping-off point for their own education.
For reasons that will become readily apparent after reading this article, I strongly recommend against the corneal flap-based Lasik procedures. Ultimately though, you must find your own answers. Before undergoing surgery, you should educate yourself on the risks involved, you should know what questions to ask of a potential surgeon, and most importantly, it is absolutely critical to know exactly why you would choose PRK, Lasek, Epi-Lasik, or especially Lasik.