PRK Laser Eye Surgery Part 2

Author: Jeff Anderson

Enough is Enough

In my search for Night & Day contacts, I found Standard Optical at the mall. The reason I went ahead and ordered contacts from them is because they had a trial pair that they were willing to part with even though I didn't get my exam done there. I ordered four boxes of contacts, and picked them up when they came in.

My trial pair of contacts was nothing but trouble. After wearing them for only a few hours, my eyes were so irritated that I couldn't stand it. The longest I could go was four hours. I had enough. I called standard optical to see if I could get store credit for my four unopened contact boxes. I could. They advertised Lasik. Free consultation, no interest financing, and sales were part of the pitch.

Seeing the Light

I asked about the Lasik consult, and they had a time slot open. The eye doctor essentially did a regular exam on me, and took a little extra time looking at my eyes with his little light thing. I was signed off as a good candidate for Lasik, but I needed to go up to another facility to get the rest of my consult done. I scheduled a time and went up. They had a very cool eye mapper thing there that scanned my eyes, and it was confirmed that I was in fact an excellent candidate for laser eye surgery.

What is PRK?

The difference between Lasik and PRK boils down to the first step. The first step in this type of eye surgery is to get rid of the very first layer of the eye, to be able to treat the tissue underneath. Lasik patients have a flap cut in their eye, which is peeled back. This flap is thick enough for the top layer, as well as a bit of the next layer. This bit of the next layer means that some patients with less tissue in the second layer to work with may not be a candidate for Lasik. PRK patients actually have the first layer of the eye removed, and it is left to heal back after the surgery. Once the first layer is out of the way, the laser goes to work, removing tissue.

The pro to getting Lasik are that it takes much less time to heal. The pro to PRK is that it is less risky in the long run, and gives a higher percentage of better than average vision. There are a few flap complications that can arise due to the flap cut for Lasik patients. Rubbing, scratching, itching, etc can all cause a flap complication. This can happen in your sleep. The eye doctor at the second place, also mentioned a case where a Lasik patient in a car accident had their flaps dislodge themselves due to the airbag going off in their car in an accident several years after their Lasik surgery. This is very unlikely, but can't happen to PRK patients because they don't have a flap cut at all. Another thing I found out was that the Military always has their personnel do PRK instead of Lasik.

I was told that I was an equally good candidate for Lasik or PRK. I had enough tissue in that second layer of my eyes for Lasik. I searched online and found quite a few resources. I liked some of the videos out on Youtube. One video that made me decide that I could go through with PRK was this video of the procedure:

I ended up having my surgery done last November, but I'll try to describe what it "looks like" while having it done as best as I can remember in the next post.

Continue to Part 3

Posted: Apr 27, 2010 | Tags: PRK

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