Is PRK Recovery Longer for Those with Nystagmus?

I've been approved for PRK surgery, my doctor sent me to the eye center for additional testing to make sure the laser could track my eyes because of the movement. My question is, will my recovery time be longer because of the constant movement of my eyes? It's imperative that I be able to drive and be able to work on the computer the week after the surgery.

Doctor Answers 4

Nystagmus is Not A Problem

Nystagmus is usually not a problem for refractive surgery since the tracker on modern lasers can normally compensate for eye movement.  There is no reason that nystagmus should make your recovery time longer.  However, be aware that every patient has a different recovery time and no surgeon can predict with absolute certainty when you will be able to fully resume computer work.

San Diego Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Nystagmus should not make PRK recovery longer

Nystagmus should not make your recovery time longer. During surgery, the surgeon may also wish to not occlude (cover) the eye that is not being treated. This will usually dampen or stop the nystagmus (dancing movement of the eye) during the procedure and allow better eye tracking.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Laser treatment with nystagmus

I have treated many people with nystagmus that had excellent results.  Fortunately when the eye moves one direction, it also moves back and the movement balances itself out.  The added benefit that I have seen on many, but not all patients, is that their nystagmus is less after surgery.  Your healing time should be about the same as anyone else.

I strongly disagree with Dr. Chynn that laser volume is an indicator of a competent surgeon.  Certainly there is no reason to have surgery from a surgeon who has only done a few hundred cases as there are so many experienced surgeons available.  On the other hand, probably the worst surgeon in the history of laser vision correction did a tremendous amount of surgery and harmed hundreds of people.

I suggest that you go to a surgeon who you trust, who takes care of you personally and answers all of your questions.  Will he/she be available for postoperative care and for problems?  I think that it was fine that your surgeon consulted others.  It shows a doctor who cares more about his patients than his reputation.


Mark Golden, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Lasek in nystagmus

I've done Lasek on a bunch of patients with nystagmus successfully you should avoid LASIK or IntraLase as cutting a flap is risky since your eye is never still. The VISX laser tracks at 60 Hz ie 60 times per second. No nystagmus is more rapid than that my concern is it sounds like your doctor is an open access doctor who is renting the laser so needs someone else to answer this question who knows the laser more intimately your case is very challenging id go to a surgeon who owns his own laseris doing 1,000 cases each year and has treated patients before w nystagmus lasek is the advanced form of PRK btw hope this helps

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.