Friday, May 28, 2010

PRK Surgery Day

Just a quick note today because the nurses warned me that "the doctor can tell if you have been working on your computer!"

The first part was paperwork & payment then a quick meeting with the doctor. He explained that because of my extreme prescription, they would be taking off nearly a quarter of my cornea, but the actual laser time was only 58 seconds. I have a somewhat elevated chance of needing a touch up later, but fingers crossed. As well there was a briefing on the post-op drop regime.

The surgery went well and had somewhat of an alien abduction feel. Ahead of the surgery you get a course of drops (more antibiotics and steroidal drops) then the topical anesthetic. The weird thing was being ushered into the room with no glasses on, so effectively blind, and being laid out on the surgical bed.

The first part of the procedure is getting the ocular speculum in to hold open the eyelid on the first eye (rather uncomfortable) then some measurements and getting everything set up.  Then the doctor used what seemed like a mini-electric toothbrush to abrade off the out epithelial layer on my cornea.   The topical anesthetic worked fine and it just tickled a bit. but was definitely odd. After scrapping off the residue, then it was laser time!

For the actual lasering, I had to concentrate on a flashing light, then you could hear the clicking of the laser and the technician counting down the time. Gradually my vision grew cloudier & cloudier and there was a bit of a disconcerting "burning flesh" smell, but it didn't last too long.

After that the doctor put Mitomecin on my eye, which is a cancer drug that helps prevent hazing and scarring then flushed the eye with water, put on some drops then slipped in the bandage contact lens. All very quick and I'm sure no more than 5 minutes. The second eye was just the same. Definitely a freaky feel and somewhat hard to describe, but not too terrible. Not to give away too much of my medical history, but I found it harder than a dental procedure (like a filling), but much easier than my vasectomy. Everyone at the clinic was very professional and nice.

Afterwords they check you out one more time and then you're done! I felt reasonably well after the surgery, so we went over to a nearby Chapters so my wife could find a book she needed and I just settled in to listen to my iPod and have a latte. On the long drive home, my eyes started to feel a bit irritated just with so much sun and I guess from drying out a bit.

At home, we went through a drop treatment and I took a Percocet and slept for a couple of hours. Now I am up and about with sunglasses on and my eyes feel fine. My vision is definitely very distorted, but I would say it is about at half my previous uncorrected myopia blurriness. It is a drag to not just get immediately perfect correction like the Lasik people, but at least I don't feel uncomfortable and I can more or less see well enough to do basic things. Thank heavens I learned touch typing or I would never be able to write this up!!


  1. If you're doing this as a public service for other folks contemplating the procedure, you should warn them about the enthusiastic folks who will direct your spouse/significant other to the chair with the best view of the monitor that is showing a full-screen high-def close-up full-colour live feed of the surgery as it happens. For some reason they believe that one would WANT to see surgery on an eyeball the size (and colour) of a pizza.

    Just for the record, I did watch. I think there's a good-spouse badge I get for this...

  2. You get the badge of courage for having put up with me for the last eleven years!

    Many thanks for all your help! This surgery does leave you pretty helpless so it is important to have someone there for you!