Laser Eye Surgery

I was considering getting laser eye surgery for many years and in January 2016 I finally did it.  In this blog I will share some information about laser eye surgery and some tips based on my experience.

There are two types of procedures you will have to choose between when getting laser eye surgery; LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) or PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).  I chose to do PRK.

  • LASIK:
    • In this procedure a flap is cut in the cornea then a laser reshapes the cornea beneath, then the flap is replaced
    • The flap can be created with a laser or a microkeratome
    • Some professions don’t allow LASIK (such as the RCMP and military); this is because there is a risk that the flap can potentially dislodge if there is trauma to the eye(s)
    • Recovery is usually much quicker and good vision can be achieved the next day after surgery
  • PRK:
    • In this procedure only laser is used to reshape the cornea and no flap is created
    • A bandage contact lens will be placed on the eye for at least 4 days as the cornea heals itself
    • Vision will be ok the day of surgery and the day after but then the vision gets worse as the eye is healing for a couple of days
    • In my experience 2 of the recovery days were quite uncomfortable and I was extremely light sensitive
    •  You will most likely need to take at least 1 week off of work, yahoo!
    • After 1 week your vision will be quite good but it can take months for it to improve fully

Tips for patients having PRK:

  • Download an audiobook prior to surgery (you will need it for the 2 days of recovery you can’t really open your eyes)
  • Have a dark room available for you to hang out in during recovery
  • You can usually pick up all your medications prior to surgery and definitely make sure you get some non-preservative artificial tears
  • Have a good pair of dark sunglasses ready
  • Make sure you don’t need to look at screens (computer or otherwise) after surgery for approximately 4 days, your vision will be blurry and you will be too light sensitive to look at them
  • You will most likely need to save up somewhere between $2000-$4000 (depending on the clinic you choose) for the surgery, then you will also need to pay for your pre-op, post-ops, medications, and drops which can add up to $500-$1000

At View Optometry we can determine if you are a good candidate for laser surgery.  We can also do your post-op care!  One last step is to visit the surgery clinic for a consult.  If both doctors agree that you are a good candidate for surgery... you are ready to book!

I am very happy that I made the decision to go through with PRK surgery.  However, you do need to consider the potential risks.  The most common side effect from surgery is dry eyes, but keep in mind that more serious side effects are possible.  Please don't hesitate to come in for a visit at our office to find out more.

Dr. Teri Hines


Lasik vs. PRK.jpg
Teri Hines