It’s happening: eye surgery!

(Update: read about my surgery and initial recovery here and my longer-term results here.)

Ever since I was about 18 I’ve been wanting to get LASIK eye surgery.  My mom works for an ophthalmologist’s office where they do the surgery, but she and the doctors wanted me to wait until I was older, until my prescription was more stable, etc.  Ever since I got accepted into TAPIF, I started thinking more seriously about the surgery; it would be so nice to not have to deal with glasses/contacts while I’m in France!  And, you know, for the rest of my life.

After I graduated I made the appointment for a consultation at the end of June.  I had the consultation on Friday afternoon at Virdi Eye and I found out that I am a perfect candidate for laser vision correction!  My prescription is stable, my corneas are thick, my pupils are big (which I had no problem believing after my eyes stayed dilated for 36+ hours), and I have good tear production.  Here is how they tested how many tears my eyes produce:

Paper slips in my eyes with marks for how far my tears reached after like 10 minutes. They put numbing drops in first, but still, not pleasant.

After finding out I’m a good candidate for the surgery, Dr. Borisuth gave us two options.  He said that getting rid of my prescription was going to be “easy” and that I would have the same results from both types of surgery, but I needed to decide which one I wanted.  Here are the differences between the two as I understand them:

LASIK eye surgery is a newer surgery and is more popular due to its shorter recovery time.  In it, the doctor cuts a flap in the cornea and flips it up.  Then a laser is used to reshape the middle cornea underneath, which is what corrects the vision.  Afterward the flap is flipped back down and seals within two hours.  With Lasik, vision is improved pretty much immediately, but it also carries with it a risk of a condition called keratoconus, especially with younger patients like me.  The risk is only about one in 3000 patients but it’s something to consider.

PRK is the original laser vision correction surgery, but became less popular after LASIK was introduced because it takes longer for vision to improve.  With PRK, no corneal flap is cut; instead, the epithelium (clear membrane) on the outside of the eye is removed and then a laser goes straight down through the cornea to reshape it.  Vision is not immediately better; Dr. Borisuth told me it would be probably until Saturday (5 days post-surgery) before I could see well enough to drive.  However, there is no risk of keratoconus with PRK.

After talking with the doctor and the laser eye surgery specialist, my mom and I decided to go with PRK.  The laser surgery specialist herself had PRK about 8 years ago, and Dr. Borisuth said that if it was his daughter, he would recommend PRK due to my age, so that pretty much sold us on it!  Plus honestly PRK seems less invasive than LASIK to me- I’d rather not have my eyeball cut open if I don’t have to.  I’m fortunate enough to be able to take the whole week off work and to have my parents to take care of me, and keratoconus doesn’t sound like something I want to mess around with.

So my surgery is at 4:30 today!  I’ve been prepping for a couple days now with two different kinds of antibiotic drops, there’s another bottle of drops I have to bring with me to the surgery, and they also gave me a prescription for a Valium to take before the surgery to relax me (this should be fun).  I’ll be updating this post when I can; a couple of friends have asked me to update them on what the surgery is like, and this seemed like the best way to do it!

Update:  Instead of adding updates on this post, I decided to write a new one about my experience with surgery, recovery, etc.  So check that one out for more information!

Categories: Health, Information | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “It’s happening: eye surgery!

  1. Thanks for the useful information about the Lasik and PRK. I would like to know how those surgeries work. Waiting for your another post..

  2. EWIE EWIE EWIE I’m writing up the report from the vision conference I went to, and I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT SLICING AND DICING EYEBALLS!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
    Glad you’re a good candidate, you can get the surgery, yadda yadda, very exciting! 🙂

    • kjmcgreer

      LOL I’m surprised you’re not gagging! Good thing I didn’t go into more detail- or post the video I watched 🙂


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