Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Experience with PRK

I had my PRK laser eye surgery done yesterday. I thought I'd share my experience. I learned so much after my surgery as well as before.

All I can say is, it's not very scary. The only scary thing is the unknown before the surgery. Prior to the surgery, they do measurements again, they double check the measurements, and they teach you when to use the: lubrication drops, anti-biotic drops, anti-inflammatory drops, steroid drops and the pain drops (if needed). Basically, you'll be dropping so many drops in your eye for the first 2 weeks and the drops decrease in about 3 months.

The surgery itself went something like this:
  • You put on a cap to hold your hair in place and booties on your shoes for hygiene reasons
  • You lay on the operating table/couch
  • Numbing eye drops are placed into your eyes and you close them for a few minutes
  • An eyelid clamp is placed on your lids to make sure your eye stays open
  • You are told to stare at a red blinking light at all times
  • Lots of drops go into your eyes
  • A ring is placed on your eyes (I guess for guidance for the surgery)
  • More drops are placed into eyes to dissolve the epithelium of your eye
  • Q-tip and squeegee thing wipes away the epithelium
  • Laser beam goes in, you see lots of green and red lights and it smells like burning hair
  • More drops into your eyes
  • A contact is placed to protect your eye when epithelium grows back on the first week
  • More eye drops into your eyes
  • Repeat for next eye

Things I learned after my PRK surgery:
  • I can go on computer right away - just take breaks
  • No rubbing eye whatsoever
  • I don't need to wear my sunglasses inside my house, just outside in the daytime
  • I can work out if I wanted to - just have to wear a sweat headband
  • I can drink if I want to
  • I can put on makeup - just not eye make up for 1 week
  • I can actually see way better than I did before with no glasses - it's not perfect right now but it's still impressive
  • Instant sight after surgery
  • It gets blurrier after the first day because your epithelium is growing back
  • Laser eye surgery does not have tax and you can claim it on your income tax return
  • Surgery only took about 3-5 minutes per eye.

Overall, my experience was good. So far no pain and pretty decent sight. I could drive if I really had to but I really shouldn't at the moment. If you guys were wondering about the price, I paid $1750 altogether at the Coal Harbor Eye Center on West Hastings. It was supposed to be $1500 but my cornea was so thin, it barely met the requirements for PRK so I had to do this tissue sample saving discs where it adjusts the laser strength (I think that's a rough definition of it).


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience! It really doesn't sound too horrible as far as surgeries go... I've been wanting to get it done too so I'm glad you shared your story. If I may ask, is the price a limited time offer? Just wondering because the prices I've heard other clinics offer is in the 3-4K range.

  2. Hey I'm glad you found my review helpful =) Coal Harbor was doing a $1500 promo in the summer. I saw it in the 24 hour newspaper or metro newspaper in the summer time for the first 500 clients. I'm not sure how much it is now. I saw Lasik MD doing it for $490 an eye but I don't have any friends that went there. But yeah, I would totally shop around for laser eye surgery places first before you commit. I heard London Eye Center is really reputable as well.

  3. Pretty spot on!! I went through the whole procedure in my head again when I was reading this post! Do you have any trouble sleeping? That's the only 'symptom' I had for the first week. I had to take the Ativan they gave me. It was really hard for me to go into deep sleep, I would kinda just drift in and out... It was probably all in my head.

  4. Ohh that sucks about your sleep. So far I've been sleeping pretty good - like normal. I haven't taken the Ativan they gave me yet. I'm gonna save that when I really do have troubles. My always wants to close early on the night because of my contacts tho haha.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kerri! Please keep us updated on your recovery!

    xo, alison*elle

  6. You got it done!! I had my surgery scheduled but cancelled it because I have dry eyes and the risk is HUGE, even if the surgeons say otherwise since they just need to make money. Did you have dry eyes before? I'm still contemplating because my glasses actually interfere with my life and I can't wear contacts often because they are uncomfortable... :(

  7. hey hun! yes I did =) i had such a great experience there. once my 2 weeks of recovery is up, i'm going to write a post PRK review because I learned so much after the 2 weeks as well.

    my eyes are pretty normal. so it's not super dry. my cousin has dry eyes so she's having a hard time finding a place that will do it for her as well. how many companies have you had consultations at?

    have you thought of wearing those night contacts while you sleep and take them out in the morning? that's another option if you don't want to wear glasses/contacts and have dry eye.

  8. Do you have notifications for replies to your entries? I usually never go back to past entries I comment on because it's such a hassle but I really want to read your reply. :P

    A lot of places actually said they'd do it for me although some (like the "Lasik factories" like Lasik MD) had me get second opinions. They all said I could though... but those ophthalmologists passed me for surgery. I think it was because they were affiliated with the Lasik company, hence I'm having a hard time trusting any of them.

    I think I got too scared after reading all the stories on The Dry Eye Forum and all these other lasik disaster sites. I'm just so paranoid but I want to get this procedure so bad!

  9. Heys, I do get email notifications for my replies to my entries. Perhaps I should respond to you there (I never tried that before but I'm sure it works).

    Ohh yeah, I wouldn't wanna go to a place that just wants to clear me for surgery either. It seems like they just want your money =(. Your eyes are so important.

    I wonder if there is anything you can do for yourself to get rid of your dry eyes?

    but yeah PRK is so not scary. and I haven't had any pain at all =)

  10. just bad was your eye sight before the laser eye surgery..I had a consultation at lasik md, and it's gonna cost me $2300

  11. heys. my eye sight was:

    right: -5.00, -3.25, 164
    left: -5.25, -3.00, 001

    so my astigmatism was really bad. but overall my eye was average (not accounting for astigmatism). right now coal harbor is doing $2200 i think.

  12. Thank you so much - I'm about in that range too.

  13. Thanks for sharing your PRK experience on your awesome blog. I booked my PRK at Coal Harbour on Aug 1 but am getting a bit paranoid due to my high prescription (-8, -9.5) and astigmatism (-3.5). Good to hear that your astigmatism was in the same range. They said I have thin cornea so will be left with -1 in left eye but wonder what Surgeon Dr. Kirznek will say on day of surgery. Dr Lin from Pacific told me they can overcorrect my eye..but again their tests were not as detailed. Even though ppl say he's the best in town my eyes are the same so if Coal Harbour says something more conservative then should I just take their word over Dr Lin?

    Now that 2 years have gone by, would you recommend PRK at Coal Harbour? Or do you have any regrets? I hope you have perfect vision now without any major side-effects. Since you are young I'm guessing you don't needing reading glasses and stuff. I am almost 24 and can see well with my glasses now except my peripheral vision has worsened recently so my vision isn't sharp when I look sideways through my glasses. But that's nothing compared to risks/complications that are possible with this procedure? Plus my eyes are already dry. Would you say PRK is worth it for me? Or should I proceed with it if Dr. Kirzner clears me on the day of the surgery? Their staff told me how he is the most ethical/least commercial since he will return people's $300 if he doesn't think they are the right candidate on the day of the surgery..


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