The doctor did all kinds of tests and determined PRK was more appropriate as I had astigmatism as well as thick and thin areas of the cornea. I was so afraid of getting the procedure, I decided to do one eye at a time. Here's how it went:
They prep you and give you drops to numb the eye
You lay face up and they have you stare at a green target light
The nurse or doctor uses metal hooks to keep your eye open during the surgery and then wets your eye very well. Although it was a little frightening, it was painless, although awkward to have the eye open so long without blinking.
Then the laser does the rest. It's completely painless and simply feels more like a vibration on the eye. It appears as though tiny pellets of rain are hitting your eye.
A few passes, then they wash the eye and put on a protective nonprescription contact lense.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND TAKING THE VALIUM EARLIER, MINE DID NOT KICK IN UNTIL AFTER THE SURGERY.
Following the surgery you have to wear protective sunglasses and your vision is very limited for 5 days. You can see light but what you can see is like watching the world on the foggiest day, not seeing clearly further than about 5 feet in front of you.
The recovery is painful, and irritating but completely manageable, this is the cocktail that worked for me:
1 benedryl and 1tylenol, every 4 hours, prevents pain, itching, swelling from becoming unbearable. About 20 minutes after the procedure the numbing wears off and it stings! Best to have that tylenol ready!
All the drops the doctor gives you... on schedule.
Pain numbing drops, only as needed.
The contact lens is extremely drying, and was hard for me to sleep with.
1/2 a Vicodin before sleep, to ensure you can get a night's rest, I could not sleep more than a few hours without it, although I'm very sensitive to it.
5 days later the contact lens comes off and you can see much better, a month later I had Superman vision.
The short: it's a little scary, but the recovery is a pain, do both eyes at once if you can to limit recovery time. The result is awesome, after about a month I forgot it ever happened and adjusted to the new lifestyle without glasses or contacts. My eyes were dryer after the procedure, but it was a problem I had before as well.