My PRK/Lasik Experience

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Today is one month exactly since I got PRK surgery done on my eyes, so I figured it was time to report back to y’all about my process and progress. The bottom line: I’m very happy with the results and the doctor I chose, so I would recommend that you go for it if you can!

I had the first realization of how different things could be a few weeks ago when I woke up with a raging headache in the middle of the night and went to go get some advil…and I didn’t have to fumble around for my glasses or knock over every bottle in the medicine cabinet to get to it! I haven’t even gotten to try swimming or running around in the rain yet. Bet those will be awesome.

So, let’s get to the process. I’ve had a lot of questions from friends, so I’ll be thorough here. Anything left unanswered, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email/FB.

PRK or Lasik?

Lasik is the most common procedure you hear about, and it involved using a laser to cut a flap in your cornea and then another laser to reshape the area underneath the flap to correct your vision. The flap is replaced and BOOM, you have 20/20 vision right away.

PRK involved using the laser directly on the cornea surface to reshape the cornea and fix your vision. It is sometimes called “Flapless Lasik.”  Getting to 20/20 is a process that takes weeks to months, depending on how well you take care of your eyes post op.

Here is how I broke down the pros and cons for myself. Please note, I am NOT a doctor, so these are just from what I remember the docs told me. Please consult your actual eye doc for the details!

  •  Instant results in vision
  • Faster healing
  • Slight chance of complications with the flap
  • Approved for fighter pilots
  • Works better for people with thinner corneas
  • Can re-do easier
  • Can often get better than 20/20
  • No chance of a complication with a flap
  • Longer healing time
  • Longer and variable time to perfect vision

In the end, I decided to go with PRK b/c I had time to heal over the holidays and I figured I could take that time and eliminate the possible risk of a complication with the flap. Also, I know myself and was afraid I would rub my eyes, as I often do, and mess everything up!

Choosing a Doctor

I first went to the doctor that was recommended to me by my company’s Compass service as being the only in-network provider: M Lasik Center of Dallas. The visit was fine and I felt pretty comfortable with the doc, but, with prodding from my parents, I went to get a second opinion at a doctor that my friend recommended to me: LasikPlus. Stepping into the LasikPlus office instantly made me feel better b/c it was more modern and seemed more organized than the other place. Key factors in my decision to go with LasikPlus:

  • Highly recommended by friend whose wife had had her procedure done there
  • Dr. Robert Smith designed the PRK protocol for the air force
  • It’s a national chain, so I felt there was more accountability/stability than a single doctor
  • I did my research into any claims against the doctor and turned up nothing
  • I spoke to a woman who was there for her husband to get his procedure done after she had done hers at LasikPlus 6 years ago and was still very happy (enough to have her husband go do it!)
  • Modern office and ability to confirm my appts via email
  • Better website

So you can see, there were many reasons why I went with LasikPlus, and I am happy to report that everything went really well. The process was comfortable, personalized. The doctors took their time to answer my questions. I didn’t at all have the cattle shoot experience I’ve heard about at some of the big doctors around town.

Day Of Surgery

My PRK/Lasik Experience |

Last day of glasses!! Woo hoo!!

I went to the office and they did my readings/measurements. Some drops went in my eyes and I sat around a bit with Colin as we watched other people get Lasiked. Then it was my turn. I laid down in the chair and they put these eye clamps to keep my eyes open and taped down my lashes so they didn’t get lasered off. They also gave me a teddy bear to squeeze and I scoffed internally until I realized it was really cold and OH SHIT there is something coming at my eye and it was actually good to have something to hold onto.

Next came tons of eye drops. The doc and assistant are talking back and forth confirming the measurements and they tell me to stare at the red dot to keep my eye as still as I can. Then this thing that looks like the toothbrush the dentist uses to polish your teeth is coming down at my eye. Kinda scary until I realize I can’t actually feel anything. I see him using some other brush to brush to top of my eye as well. I was a lil freaked out at this point, but started relaxing more as I realized I really didn’t feel any pain. Then the lasers. ZAP ZAP. It was over in like 20 seconds as the assistant counted down. That was one eye. Then rinse repeat on the second eye and I’m done!

I look up and can see better than I can w/out my glasses, but it’s still blurryish. The other doctor checks my eyes, reviews my post-op instructions with me, hands me a pair of cool glasses and I’m off! Seriously smooth and quick.

My PRK/Lasik Experience |

Amazing glasses. Will have a special place in my collection of (not) designer glasses.

My husband takes me home where I pass out for a few hours as instructed. I wake up and nothing hurts and I can see ok. I spend the rest of the day chilling out inside as the eyes are pretty light sensitive.

At night, I put on some very alluring goggles to sleep so that I don’t accidentally rub my freshly operated eyes. It’s a really great look, you have to admit.

Sexy goggles

Sexy goggles

Day 2

I go back the next day for followup. My eyeballs definitely hurt and I can’t really open them as Colin drives me back up to the office. They check me and tell me everything is looking fine. Reminders to make sure I’m taking the 3 different drops at the right intervals and vicodin in case it’s too bad to knock me out. I decide to knock myself out.

Cupcakes and vicodin will solve anything

Cupcakes and vicodin will solve anything

Days 2-3 are about the same. Lots of sleeping and resting my eyes and wearing fuzzy pants around the house. I’m starting to bore myself. I decide I should cook on day 3. Except my eyes hurt with any light. So I find myself in the kitchen with the lights turned ALLL the way down making chicken curry. It was tasty.

Day 4 – I decide I have to get out of the house to get Colin’s xmas present. It’s only a <10 min drive to the place so I go for it. Eyes are definitely light sensitive, so I wear a baseball cap and the darkest glasses I can find. I wear them inside too and sing “I wear my sunglasses at night” in my head. I go there and get the present and go back home. I’m exhausted. More napping.

Day 5 – It’s Christmas and like the miracle of baby Jesus, I’m feeling pretty damn good today! Just in time to host a chill get together with friends.  Advice: Give yourself at LEAST 5 days to recover!

The rest of the weeks go by as I stick to my regiment of drops and vitamin C chewables twice a day.

One thing to note, ladies, you can’t wear eye makeup for 10 days. My vanity suffered, but I survived.

No problems to report, and my 3 week followup appointment shows that everything is healing fine and I”m now seeing 20/25 in each eye. It’s supposed to continue to get better and I am optimistic.

No halos or night vision issues to report. Eyes are not especially dry feeling, but I use the artificial tears (in vials and preservative free) now and again. I’m loving the results and definitely recommend it to anyone considering the surgery.

I’ll continue to update this blog as I have more updates. Feel free to ping me with questions or leave them in the comments below!