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  1. #1
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    Laser Eye Surgery - A Success?

    Well I just returned from Bethesda Naval Medical Center about an hour ago after getting Photrefractive Keractectomy (PRK). I still have the bandage contacts in and have to wear sunglasses in the house but I can tell right away that vision is noticeably improved in my right eye - probably 20/20 corrected from 20/100. The verdict is still out on the vision in my right eye and I'm only slightly concerned. Part of the problem is that both during pre-op and today, they couldn't "dial in" a good reading of the vision in my right eye.

    I think it was nervousness but they do a thing where they measure the shape of your eye, predict your prescription and then ask you to read the chart and finetune the prescription (you know the drill - "Is 1 or 2 clearer?"). I had problems last week during pre-op and this week I was sweating and kept fogging up the eye thing for that test.

    Since they couldn't get a super great reading the surgeon went conservative based on my prescription and the measurements they had taken. The blurriness could be attributed to the fact that the bandage contacts are kind of big and blur the vision a bit or it could be they undercorrected and I'll have to get another shot of the laser. If I had to guess, it's probably about 20/40 now in that eye which is considered functional vision. I can't really complain if I end up with 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other and it just might be my best corrected vision because my right eye has always had worse vision even when corrected best. I've got weird maculae which is probably the reason.

    Anyway, I can kind of see the computer screen and am killing time today while my eyes heal. They told me to expect some discomfort but it's not too bad - just feels like I have an irritant in my eye. I've got some drops I've got to put in every few hours.

    Anyway, that's the story. I'll check back - especially after the bandage contacts come out. PRK takes a bit of time to become stable unlike LASIK which yields pretty good results but has its own significant advantages which is why the military prefers PRK for people who are candidates for it.
    Rich
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  2. #2
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    My uncle got it without telling anyone. We just through he wore contacts but then he told us when everyone was curious lol.

  3. #3
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    Let us know how it goes.. I have had a lot of surgeries - but I have not had them work on my eyes yet LOL.

    I would love to have it - my contacts is -6.5 and -5.5 (left / right). So I am blind as a bat!

  4. #4
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    Right now my eyes are tearing like crazy and are really hurting. I'm going offline for a while to cry.

    Your prescription is way worse than mine corey. I don't even think they can do PRK for worse than -6.0
    Rich
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  5. #5
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    Probably not. I am very blind. I do wish you well - that's for sure!

  6. #6
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    Wish you all the best. Rest Well
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  7. #7
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    I'm -3.00 on both eyes and want to get it done as soon as pssoble.

    Let us know how it goes DevilDog!

  8. #8
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    Give it some time to heal. Hopefully your sight will even out and be perfect once it has healed

    I would not be happy if they didn't do a proper correction at first because if you have to do a repeat I'd be paranoid about my cornea.

    PRK can be done up to 6 diopters. Intralase and lasik can be done with much worse vision up to -12.00. My eyes are almost -6.50 diopters so my vision is even worse than yours. But a 6 diopter isn't THAT bad. Bad enough to be paranoid about having rentina detachments later on in life, that's why it's dangerous to be nearsighted. Most people aren't aware of this

  9. #9
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    Frosty - you've definitely done your homework. Even though I was only about -1.75 in both eyes I have a risk of detached retina - happened to my dad a few years ago. PRK makes me feel better because there is no cutting on the eye.

    My surgeon was very skilled. I noticed my right eye vision has actually improved already so I'm feeling a bit better about it. My eyes have been stinging like crazy off and on. I have numbing drops that I can put in once every 2 hours and that helps. I should feel better by morning depending on how well I sleep.
    Rich
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  10. #10
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    Many congratulations on your endeavor, and I sympathize with the pain and discomfort you must be experiencing.

    While I probably still have perfect or "better-than-perfect" vision in both eyes, I think I may need this surgery in several decades, so I'll keep it open as an option. By then, however, we might have more advanced forms of surgery, perhaps inconceivable to modern ophthalmologists.

  11. #11
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    Thanks SniperDevil. I'll probably need reading glasses in a few years as my arms get longer but I'd rather wear reading glasses sometimes than regular glasses and contacts all the time.

    Too bad I'm heading out - I could have taken you to a range here in Quantico to do some shooting since you live so close. My step mother was a school teacher in Fairfax. My father and she lived in Burke until a few years ago when they moved to Manassas.
    Rich
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  12. #12
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    All the best with it Rich. My wife had it done a few years ago, and it certainly was a success. The money was well spent, considering she hasn't had to wear glasses since the day it was done. Before that, Stop Signs were scarey, given that she would only start to break within about 20 metres. ;-)

    Gary

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Thanks SniperDevil. I'll probably need reading glasses in a few years as my arms get longer but I'd rather wear reading glasses sometimes than regular glasses and contacts all the time.
    Yeah, I'd very much dislike wearing glasses all the time; reading glasses even would seem bothersome.

    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Too bad I'm heading out - I could have taken you to a range here in Quantico to do some shooting since you live so close. My step mother was a school teacher in Fairfax. My father and she lived in Burke until a few years ago when they moved to Manassas.
    Ah, yeah, I passed by Quantico the last couple of Saturdays after a round of golf at Pohick Bay GC and Forest Greens GC, respectively.

    My dad and I go either to the NRA range in Fairfax, a very well-ventilated and professional facility, but the staff is very strict and not very friendly, or the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, which is almost as nice and the staff are much nicer and more laid-back.

    At what school did your stepmother teach? Burke is about 15-20 minutes from me, and Manassas is about 30-45 minutes away.

    The traffic in this area is horrendous, but probably no worse (possibly even better) than my former and original home, Los Angeles. The 95 and 495 are just unbelievably bad (especially merging from the 95 onto the 495), as you undoubtedly know from where you live. It took us an hour and a quarter to get to Pohick Bay Park, whereas it's usually a 30-40 minute drive.

    Hey, who knows, perhaps we've run into each other before and just not known it? When I see someone fitting of the username "DevilDog", I'll be sure and call it out.

  14. #14
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    I am only 17 but i hate the fact that i have crap eyesight. I never wear glasses or contacts, and so my eyes only get worse. I know i should wear one or the other, but they are both uncomftable and glasses look ugly on me.

    I might get it done next year, however there have been so many scares over "horror" ops and how people have been perminatly blinded or their eyesight worsened.

    What would anyone that has had this done say that the major pro's and con's are ?

    I can resist everything but temptation - Oscar Wilde
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  15. #15
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    DevilDog,

    Yeah, a detached retina is one of the worst. Really scary. I've always been paranoid about having a retina tear because I'm at 6 diopters. But maybe your dad is more nearsighted than you or maybe he had lattice degeneration which is also a main cause of it. I see lots of "twinkling stars" every now and then for a few seconds (happens when your eyes experience a PVD) that can also cause your retina to tear when you have a PVD. Hope I'll never get one, I have enough problems already.

    I'm having intralase done at the end of the year. I'll post my results when I get them. If I can still see my keyboard that is

    Bazza The Greek,

    Pros to getting it done are you don't have to stick a piece of plastic in your eye everyday to see like a normal human being, your contacts won't get dried and stuck to your eyes from a gust of wind, you won't be at risk for permanent dry eyes and damage to your cornea. Well actually... yeah you would, lasik can cause that. So scratch that.

    Cons.. your vision gets f***ed
    Last edited by Frosty; 05-31-2005 at 10:51 PM.

  16. #16
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    I developed a corneal ucler from contacts + rock + wind + scratching... Not fun.. Got a perm.. scar on my cornea and can never get laser surgury done in that eye due to how deep it is.
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  17. #17
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    Originally posted by thelinuxguy
    I developed a corneal ucler from contacts + rock + wind + scratching... Not fun.. Got a perm.. scar on my cornea and can never get laser surgury done in that eye due to how deep it is.
    Sorry to hear that


    Has anyone on WHT ever had it done and it has gone tits up ?

    I can resist everything but temptation - Oscar Wilde
    He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man - Dr. Johnson

  18. #18
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    I got a cornea scratch last year when the moron assistant placed that eye pressure machine that puffs air onto your eye (I forgot what it's called) to my eye to check for glaucoma. She scratched my cornea with it... boy did my eye hurt for days. I couldn't put a contact in it. I no longer allow anyone to do that type of test... there is another better machine that doesn't touch the eye to test for that.

    You got a perm and they got solution into your eye? Was that at a salon? Boy would I have been MAD!

    EDIT: oh gosh.. I mis-read your post. For a second I thought you said hair perm. Oops

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Frosty - you've definitely done your homework. Even though I was only about -1.75 in both eyes I have a risk of detached retina - happened to my dad a few years ago.
    Sorry to hear that about your dad. I know what he was going thru.

    A few year back I was changing my contacts & of course multi-tasking - something that I think I can do. I get to work and notice that my right eye is feeling funny. I decided to call the doctor and go into the office. They look at my eye & could not notice too much difference. They had me take my contact lens out and put a new one in.

    It still felt funny. They gave me an eye exam and I could not see the letters, they were blurry. They had me take the contact out and I told them that it seemed to be better. This is where the mention detached retina. I asked them if that was bad and they said yes. They were on the phone with the hospital and getting ready to call an ambulance.

    A technician was in there and he told me to take my right contact lens out. The doctor told him I did and I told him I did. This is where he points out that I have one still in my eye.

    Needless to say I was very embarrassed. And I think the docs were also - took a technician to diagnose me

  20. #20
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    Hey guys. Sorry I was off the net but it's the first time I can see a computer screen (an not very well yet still) for a couple of days. Yesterday was pretty "uncomfortable" to say the least. I woke up at 0200 on 1 June and took an 800mg Motrin and 2 Percoset. Bad idea. When I got up at 0600 my stomach was very unsettled. I ate a bagel to get some food in my stomach which only provided solids to later throw up. My wife took me to my first follow up appointment and my eyes felt pretty good at the time and my stomach settled. The doctor said my eyes looked good and were 50-60% healed which felt good. I thought I was out of the woods in terms of pain.

    Later in the day however, my eyes just hurt really badly for about 7 hours finally subsiding about 1900. Except for the Ibuprofen to control swelling I haven't needed pain meds since last night. The only discomfort I have now is these bandage contacts that are milky and filmy from all the antibiotics and steroids I've had to keep putting in my eyes 6x a day. They come out tommorrow and I should probably see much better and be much more comfortable. My eyes are still pretty light sensitive.

    Originally posted by SniperDevil
    Yeah, I'd very much dislike wearing glasses all the time; reading glasses even would seem bothersome.

    At what school did your stepmother teach? Burke is about 15-20 minutes from me, and Manassas is about 30-45 minutes away.

    Hey, who knows, perhaps we've run into each other before and just not known it? When I see someone fitting of the username "DevilDog", I'll be sure and call it out.
    SniperDevil: I don't remember the name of the school but it's on Burke Centre Parkway a couple of miles from Rte 123.

    Chances of you running into me are possible. I never lived there too long but used to run along that path between Burke Centre Parkway and George Mason when my Dad lived right off Burke Centre Parkway. Also had a job at a Dart Drug in Summer '86 but then went to college in NY and have been in the Corps ever since so haven't been in Fairfax much since then. With all the Marines in the Northern VA area from Quantico who would turn their heads if you said "Hey, Devildog!" you probably won't single me out too easily. For those that care, the term derives from WWI - the Germans nicknamed the Marines Teuffel Hunden (Devil Dogs) because of their ferocity in battle.

    Bazza the Greek: Like most things, the horror stories are overplayed. PRK is a very safe procedure but is less popular than LASIK because it is very uncomfortable for a few days. Might as well worry about getting struck by lightning compared to your chances of being a "horror story" yourself. For me, eyeglasses are a bit more than a major inconvenience. I crushed some eyeglasses in my flak jacket in the Middle East and always had to trade off seeing or putting on my goggles when it got really dusty which was all the stinking time. Then there's gas mask inserts, etc. The military does it because it enhances operational effectiveness and have studied its benefits extensively which is why they primarily do PRK (since most people have less than -6.0 due to screening out bad vision).

    Frosty: Another good couple of posts. My surgeon - a Navy Captain - has been an opthomologist for years. He gave an excellent brief to "reform" our expectations about the procedure since there is so much advertising out there that can cloud the real data. He showed an interesting picture of Radial Kerotectomy (RK) that was popular in the 70's. There was a Dr. Federov (sp?) in Russia that made millons because he had perfected an "assembly line" approach where he had doctors who had perfected a single blade stroke. Eight patients were sedated in a circle, the table would rotate, and each surgeon would perform his slice. Very fascinating. Anyhow, he was comparing some of the complications from the various procedures. Corneal clouding is a potential drawback of my procedure but LASIK has its own complications as well. One of the things he mentioned about Interlase is that it is new. It's probably a great procedure but he pointed out that it usually takes about 10 years for enough data to come back to deternine what the complications might be with interlase. I'm sure they'll be minor because each "generation" of new procedure seems to solve some complication but then others creep up becaus the eye is so complicated.
    Rich
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  21. #21
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    Sounds painfull. Im luckey because I have 20/20 vision. Hope you feel better soon.
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  22. #22
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    DevilDog, that's interesting. I would have never gotten RK, but it's amazing how much technology progressed over the past years with these things

    I know someone who got RK on one eye, it was so bad they didn't dare do the other eye. Now they are getting PRK over both eyes.

    Yeah I want to get intralase because that is suposed to eliminate flap complications but the reason I really want it is because intralase is actually less invasive on your cornea than standard lasik. Some surgeons disagree but I think it's accurate. People who cannot get lasik done due to thin corneas can still get intraslase which says a lot. My corneas are about 525 microns thick and I am very nearsighted at about -6.50 so there isn't a lot of cornea to play around with. I only have one shot.

    Yeah it sounds like that PRK really does take lots of time to heal. I didn't realize. Hopefully once your eyes have healed your vision will be very good.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Hey guys. Sorry I was off the net but it's the first time I can see a computer screen (an not very well yet still) for a couple of days. Yesterday was pretty "uncomfortable" to say the least. I woke up at 0200 on 1 June and took an 800mg Motrin and 2 Percoset. Bad idea. When I got up at 0600 my stomach was very unsettled. I ate a bagel to get some food in my stomach which only provided solids to later throw up. My wife took me to my first follow up appointment and my eyes felt pretty good at the time and my stomach settled. The doctor said my eyes looked good and were 50-60% healed which felt good. I thought I was out of the woods in terms of pain.
    I had a similar experience with Percocet. While it is indeed a good narcotic, many people often report symptoms of nausea and vomiting after taking it at first; it often requires one or two doses for your body to accept it and not to effect an unpleasant gastrointestinal reaction like the one you described. Sorry to hear about the unpleasantness; my experience was similar after getting my wisdom teeth pulled, and although I only needed two Percocets, the first one caused me to feel an overwhelming nausea and unsettling feeling all over. This also may be attributed to the general anesthesia I received, as that is also fairly common several hours after the procedure.

    Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and oxycodone are indeed good agents, but as oxycodone is rather addictive, I don't take them unless I *really* need to.

    One of the things I must admit that I enjoyed while on them was the euphoria I, and many others, felt; I was rather frustrated and agitated after having the surgery because my entire face was numb and I could not eat anything without making the biggest mess since I was three years old. However, after taking the Percocet, I felt this odd sense of euphoria and general contentment. I talked a mile a minute while on them, too.

    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Later in the day however, my eyes just hurt really badly for about 7 hours finally subsiding about 1900. Except for the Ibuprofen to control swelling I haven't needed pain meds since last night. The only discomfort I have now is these bandage contacts that are milky and filmy from all the antibiotics and steroids I've had to keep putting in my eyes 6x a day. They come out tommorrow and I should probably see much better and be much more comfortable. My eyes are still pretty light sensitive.
    Good luck with your recovery! Almost any surgery, however invasive or lengthy it might be, is a tough one from which to recover. I imagine you're in some pain right now, but look forward to its passing tomorrow and to your great, new vision as well!


    Originally posted by DevilDog
    SniperDevil: I don't remember the name of the school but it's on Burke Centre Parkway a couple of miles from Rte 123.
    Ahh, yeah. I'm not too familiar with that area, specifically, but I know generally what you're describing.

    Originally posted by DevilDog
    Chances of you running into me are possible. I never lived there too long but used to run along that path between Burke Centre Parkway and George Mason when my Dad lived right off Burke Centre Parkway. Also had a job at a Dart Drug in Summer '86 but then went to college in NY and have been in the Corps ever since so haven't been in Fairfax much since then. With all the Marines in the Northern VA area from Quantico who would turn their heads if you said "Hey, Devildog!" you probably won't single me out too easily. For those that care, the term derives from WWI - the Germans nicknamed the Marines Teuffel Hunden (Devil Dogs) because of their ferocity in battle.
    Thanks for telling me about the Devil Dogs! I never knew that's what Marines were/are called, and I feel rather embarrassed. But I learned something new, and now I know that it wouldn't be very smart of me to yell that out, after all.

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