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2nd PRK Operation at Lasik MD - Surrey, BC

This is my 2nd operation. I had my first PRK...

This is my 2nd operation. I had my first PRK operation in Moscow, Russia in year 2000. My eyesight back then was -9.5. I was 20 years old and was advised to wait to make sure the eyesight stopped deteriorating. I didn’t want to wait and had the operation anyway.
For about 5 years I had good vision (with terrible night vision though). Then the eyesight slowly deteriorated.
Today I am 36 and my eyesight is -3.5 and -2 again. I need glasses for driving and TV. I wasn’t sure at all if I was even eligible for another operation.
I went to London Eye Center and Lasik MD center for a free checkup. I was told that my cornea thickness was about 500 micron, which is enough for even 2 operations! Great news.
I have chosen Lasik MD because of its was better price. I was advised to go ahead with Custom Advanced Wavefront PRK and the cost is $2000 for both eyes. That includes all checkups for up to 1 year. Although I was also eligible for All Laser Lasik, I decided to go with PRK as it is generally a safer procedure because there is no flap.
I spent about 2 weeks reading everything possible about the operations, various risks involved and decided that the pros outweighed the cons.

Night before operation
I was extremely nervous, still reading various articles and thinking that maybe I shouldn’t do it. Finally, I decided to go ahead because I can’t drive or watch TV without glasses. Forgot to mention that after my first PRK operation I can no longer wear contact lenses because my cornea is flatter and the lenses do not fit properly.

Day of the operation
Very nervous. My head does not think straight and I can’t really concentrate. We came to Lasik MD in Surrey and the staff were very friendly. My eyesight was checked again and I was told that there were no changes since the previous visit, which is good. Secondly, I went to the counselor who explained to me how to use various drops. The list was pretty long. She said the first 3 days are rough. The counselor also said that nowdays they prescribe morfin and it was only allowed for use after laser eye surgeries about a year ago-so now patients feel no pain. Then my friend called who apparently had the same operation and she calmed down.
Next I was waiting and feeling really restless. I was even thinking about leaving. In my head I could see the images of the operation and how it would go.
I asked for Zanax. I went to the operating room and met briefly with the surgeon. He asked if I had any questions but my mind was so numb I could think of any more questions to ask. He told me not to worry and gave me zanax, as I asked before. I had to wait about 20 minutes after the pill. I kept sitting and slowly started to feel very calm and even tranquil. My worries went away and I was even feeling pleasant. It’s my turn, I go to the pre-operating room and the nurse asked me how I felt. I felt relaxed, peaceful and slow. Numbing drops go in my eyes. 3 minutes later I am called into the operating room. There are 3 people: surgeon, another guy, I guess a nurse and a woman. Although I took the drug, I start feeling nervous again as soon as I see the operating chair. I lie down, they put a special pillow under my legs. My head goes into a special pillow with a hole so that my head doesn’t slide down. They give me special stress balls so I can squeeze them.
After this everything goes really quick. They put some kind of a mask on the left eye and a speculum in my right eye. The speculum really doesn’t feel too bad, I was expecting worse. They put more drops in my eye and the doctor takes a brush and removes the outer layer of the cornea. It is not pleasant at all. It is very quick though. I have to look straight and see the laser behind the brush. He stopped using the brush, takes some small brush or probe and removes all the extra pieces I guess. Everything is very quick. Probe goes away. I am told to look at the light. The laser is red and blurry, looks like a fingerprint. I can hear a zapping sound and smell like something is burning. 15-20 seconds and I am done. They put water in my eye, feels cool and refreshing. Then they sponge my eye and a lens is inserted. The speculum is removed. Done. My left eye felt more pain and I tensed and arched my back. The nursed stroked my legs and told me to breath. Everything is done in less than 5 minutes.
I was so surprised that everything was finished so quickly. I could see better after the operation but not perfect. I walked out in my dark sunglasses and felt pretty good. I had to sit in the pre-operating room for another 15 minutes. They measured my pulse and blood pressure and brought me tea. Then I am called in the examination room where the ophthalmic technician looked in my eyes to make sure the lenses fit properly. I was told everything was fine and I could go home. I was told to fill the prescription as the pain will start in 2 hours.
I came home and felt ok, I was very positive. I took gravol and morphine at about 2 and at about 4 I feel very drowsy and go to bed. I could fall asleep so just lay there. I tried opening my eyes but it felt painful so I kept them closed. All evening I kept my eyes closed. Lots of tears are coming down. Lasik MD called me and told me to put cold towels on my eyes. That helped a lot with the tears and discomfort. Couldn’t sleep the first night. I felt very uncomfortable in my dark glasses (I had to use them for sleeping). My eyes felt as if they had sand in them. I was worried my husband would hit me during sleep. I slept in total maybe 3 hours.

Day 1, Saturday
Had to go for my first after operation check up at 9 am. I could not open my eyes at all. My husband had to lead me like a blind person. I was giving numbing drops and could open my eyes for the exam. The eyes looked great and were healing ok but my eyelids were really swollen so I should continue to keep my eyes shut. I was told that I was doing great, many guys cried, they were shaking and were very upset.
I slept for maybe 6 hours during the day. Went for a little walk in the evening with my husband. I kept my eyes closes and he was holding me. The whole day I could only open my eyes for a second and then tears are coming down and they eyes just close. At midnight I fell asleep and slept the whole night.

Day 2, Sunday
Today is worse. I can’t open my eyes at all. I can’t function properly. Even if something cooks on the first floor I can feel it with my eyes closes on the second floor. I take morphin in the morning and fell asleep until 11. I wake up and my body aches because I slept so much. My head pounds when somebody talks. I am so extremely sensitive to everything.

Day 3, Monday
A little bit better than the first 2 days. My right eye sees really shart, my left eye is blurry, so when I open them together I immediately start blinking and the eyes just close automatically. I stopped taking painkillers today in the morning. Although I didn’t take any painkillers I felt very drowsy all day long and slept about 16 hours in total again. At the end of the day my eyes are a little bit better, I can open the eyes for a second or so. I went for a walk with my husband and could briefly open my eyes to look around. I slept without any painkillers. I woke at night because my son was crying-interestingly I could see clearly, I went to m son and calmed him down. I went back to bed and realized that I could actually see well and it didn’t hurt!

Day 4, Tuesday
I still sound as if I have a cold, I guess it’s because of all those tears coming down. My right eye is a little bit blurry than the left. I can open them for about 30 seconds but it’s still not enough to function. My eyes feel very dry today and there are no more tears. It is better than before but now I need to put the moisturizing drops to keep eyes from drying out.
I feel extremely dizzy and everything spins. Weird feeling. Spent most of the day in bed. I was able to look at my phone and notebook. I could see some silhouettes but don’t see well at all.
Afternoon was better and I could walk around even without sunglasses. Better day than day 3.

Day 5, Wednesday
I woke up at night and had pretty clear vision. No pain or discomfort. Pretty good day.
We went to the clinic to remove my lenses. When I came to the clinic, I felt pretty good. The technician looked at my eyes and said the cornea has re-grown enough to remove the lenses. She said it’s not worth to keep them in any longer as it feel interfere with the heeling process.
The technician put numbing drops in my eye and told me to look up, grabbed the lense with tweezers, then look down and grabbed the other end of the lens and removed it. It was painless. After she removed the lenses, the eyes felts very sensitive again. At home I started feeling sand and discomfort in my eyes. I spent the remainder of the day in bed with eyes closed listening to TV.
I can see better than before the operation but the eyes are very uncomfortable and I constantly had a feeling that there was something in my eyes. I took Gravol and Tylenol and felt asleep for 10 hours.
Day 6, Thursday
Today is much better than before. My right eye is sharp and I can read with it. My left eye is still blurry and I can’t read anything. So when I have to read I close my left eye. There is slight discomfort especially after I put eyedrops. After 10 minutes pass, my eyes are better.
Today was the first day when I could function. I cleaned up the kitchen, played with kids and could cook my own salad.
In the afternoon I became very tired and napped a little.

Day 7, Friday
I can function pretty well. My left eye still sees worse than my right eye. I still close my left eye when I read.
I got out for the first time and picked up Leonard. In the afternoon I worked in the garden-it was a very sunny day but I wore my shades so I was ok.
My eyes are very dry and the skin in the corners of the eyes is all dry and red. I had to put some hormonal crème to heal the skin.
I had my first alcoholic drink after the operation. The eyes felts very dry after the drink.

Day 8, Saturday
At night I wake up every 2 hours because my eyes are so dry. I have to open my eyelids with my hands as they glue together and put drops. The sleep is a challenge because of the dryness.
It was a very bad day. My right eye felt very uncomfortable. It felt like it had an eyelash stuck in it. The eyes are very sensitive and watery. Not sure why, maybe because of yesterday when I worked outside.
Day 9, Sunday
Today I didn’t feel any discomfort. My left eye still sees much worse. I also have ghosting.
We cooked turkey today and celebrated Thanksgiving. My eyes got tired in the evening so I wore my sunglasses. Still very sensitive to light. The sensitivity comes and goes.
At night I woke only 2 times.

Day 10, Monday
Still extremely light sensitivity. Still putting drops every hour.

Day 11, Tuesday
I went to the bank today and as soon as I entered, my eyes became so watery, I tried keeping my glasses on but they became foggy, I removed them and couldn’t stop crying. I had to leave the bank.

Day 12, Wednesday
I went for my first check up after the operation. The right eye sees 20/25, my left eye, surprisingly, sees 20/30. I thought it would be worse. The cornea has healed beautifully.
I asked about the sensitivity to light and temperature change, and the technician said it was perfectly.
She said the sensitivity will go away by the end of 3 months.
In the mornings I am very sensitive to light, I keep rubbing my eyes for about an hour. At the end of the day, my vision suddenly improved. I could see very clearly with both eyes.
Today I even worked at the computer for maybe an hour or 2.
Today was the best day so far.

Day 13, Thursday
Still sensitivity in the mornings. I went the bank again, same problem with the tears, but I managed to stay at the bank and do my business.
In the afternoon, I managed to work at the computer for about 4 hours. I dimmed the brightness, made font bigger and closed the blinds.
The eyes are less dry now. I only put the drops maybe 6 times a day.
Have ghosting at the end of the day.

Week 3, Days 14-17
Still very sensitive in the mornings. Also, I still can’t work at the computer for long periods of time. It’s difficult for me to keep both eyes open, for some reason, I tend to close my left eye.
A little bit better with temperature change. I am able to go inside now without crying. Because I still put drops about 6 times a day, I can’t wear makeup.
I was able to watch my first movie after the operation on the big LCD TV. The brightness was dimmed.

3 weeks after operation update

Eyes are much better vision-wise. I think the right eye sees about 20/25, the left eye still sees worse but not much worse, I think it's about 20/30. Still quite sensitive to bright monitors, only able to work when brightness is dimmed and with dimmed room light. Able to drive now. Eyes are less dry but still putting lubricating drops Systane Ultra.

Still not able to put mascara on eyelashes and can't really look at myself in the mirror, not sure why. I guess not being able to put mascara (because of the damn drops) has been the biggest drawback so far.

Medications I used

Somebody asked me what drops/drugs I used.
Steroid drops (Zymar) - used every 4-5 hours. Was told I could stop using them 5 days post-op.
Dilaudid (hydromorphone HCL) and Gravol-strong painkillers. used for the first 2 days.
Toradol (ketorolac)-also painkiller, but not as strong as hydromorphone. Used for the first 2 days.
Dilute Alcaine drops-painkiller drops, stopped discomfort and pain in the eyes. used for the first 3 days.
Tetracaine minims -strong painkiller drops. Was told to use them if Alcaine was not effective. I used it once on day 2 post-op.

Systane Ultra (Refresh tears)- I used and still use them every day.

1 month post op and Blepharitis (eye lid inflammation) after 5 weeks

I went to my 1 month post op. I see just about 20/20 with each eye. I still have to put eye drops 4 to 6 times a day. Light sensitivity is a little better but I still can't put makeup and quality of life is still not 100%. My monitor is still less bright and the font is bigger.

Also, Zymar drops that I thought was steroid is actually an antibiotic. I asked why they don't use steroids, apparently with PRK no steroids are used as they can cause excessive tissue regrowth and prescription can come back.

5 weeks after the operation I ended up with the eyelid inflammation, my left eye hurt when I blink and I went back to the clinic. They said I have Blepharitis which is eyelid inflammation caused by clogged pores. It is very common but I never had it before. They said it is partly caused by the eye drops that I use. I was recommended hot compresses twice a day until inflammation goes away.
Surrey Ophthalmologist

Overall verdict: very happy that I have chosen Lasik MD in Surrey, BC. The staff are exceptionally friendly. When I come they greet me by my first name. Very attentive and considerate. The atmosphere is relaxing and pleasant. There is tea, coffee, cookies and apples for the guests to use. Also, there was absolutely no wait time, all appointments were on time. Paul Denton-I guess he is a good surgeon. He doesn't have a very friendly personality. He was quite distant and cold with me.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (1)

Wow, that's a great price!

Thanks for sharing your progress so far. I know it takes a while but it sounds like you're getting there. Please keep us posted with how you're doing. :)

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