Posted on

PRK vs. LASIX

My eye consultation went great today! I’m a candidate! Not that I was afraid I wouldn’t be, but ya never know!

So basically there are two different types of vision correction procedures. I had an inkling of this from listening to some co-workers…

PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy (my words, not my doctors!) is basically taking a toothbrush like device and scraping/sanding your cornea into the correct shape to correct your vision. LASIX, or Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy, is similar in that they still scrap/sand the cornea into the correct shape, but with this method they first cut a flap in your cornea roughly ¼ of the way deep, do the sanding, and then replace the flap. Gosh, why again wasn’t I a physician?? HEHE. In a nutshell, PRK leaves an exposed area to heal whereas LASIX allows the flap to cover the ‘damaged’ area of the cornea.

Apparently some people are only candidates for one type of procedure or the other, and while the resident who I saw needs to discuss my case with the fellow and staff yet, he’s fairly certain PRK would be better for me. I don’t necessarily have any eye issues, in fact, I’m wondering if I should even be having this done, as once my contacts are in each morning, they feel fine all day. Lately I’ve noticed a little dryness, but they tested my tear production today and it was awesome. I’m really only taking advantage of this procedure because it’s offered to residents and their families for $500, so will save me money in the long run on glasses and contacts, and the convenience of perfect vision without contacts would be awesome!

So why PRK… Well, the doctor explained that PRK is actually the original, older method of vision repair. LASIX came later and is newer. PRK is found to have less side effects, for example, less risk of dryness and less risk of, I forget the name, but a condition where your cornea thins as you age. Apparently those with LASIX are more prone to this thinning over time and some patients even require cornea transplants. I assume very rare, but still. The downside to PRK is the healing time. With LASIX, apparently your vision is 20/20 the next day and you’re able to return to normal activities within 24 hours. With PRK, there is intense pain for up to a week or more and your perfect vision might not be noticeable for up to a month or longer. Yes, they give you pain meds, but you aren’t allowed to work. But a week off work wouldn’t be the end of the world! But the pain… Hum…

Neither procedure can be done while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. So…. Not sure how this is gonna work for me. The one time in my life when I don’t want to be pregnant. We need to talk to the IVF clinic though too, as it was mentioned that they like patients to wait up to six months to become pregnant after undergoing PRK. Something about pregnancy changing your vision, but I didn’t understand that part well.

I don’t think there is time to do this procedure before our next round of IVF begins, so not sure where that leaves me. If this cycle works I’d be pregnant and thrilled. But no time for vision surgery before Eric is finished at the University. Certainly not the end of the world. If the IVF doesn’t work, well, perhaps there would be time to have it done before the next cycle begins.

So, does anyone have a personal experience?  I’m all ears if you have advice to offer!

5 thoughts on “PRK vs. LASIX

  1. My mom did LASIK and has had good results, but even she had pain for a day and she is very tolerant of pain.

    1. I got the impression a day of pain is normal with LASIK. I’m just not sure I want a week of pain with PRK… I’m a wimp!

      >

  2. My husband had PRK and he might just have a high passion threshold, but he didn’t even take any painkillers afterward. He also doesn’t complain about anything, I do enough of that for the both of us ;). My friend’s husband stayed in a dark room for 3 days, so go figure. My husband has been super happy with it. I think what sold him on PRK was not having the flap.

    1. I think I am leaning toward PRK if I have a choice between the two. I work with a girl who had it done a few years ago and she said the pain was awful for 3-4 days. Ugh. We shall see I guess. I don’t tend to think I handle pain very well, so maybe this will prove I don’t!

  3. The Hubs did have PRK a couple years back and for the most part his recovery was not bad. There is some issues with tear production initially because the nerve endings associated with the cornea are damaged however that did resolve. He was not terribly painful and they did provide him with great pain meds to aid in his comfort. As for pregnancy or not…I suspect they are referring to a hormone called Relaxin which incidentally causes changes in the laxity of many joints and the lens of knocked up women. Which would certainly change the results of any ocular exam…damn woman hormones!
    Now with Lasik versus PRK, from my understanding PRK is actually the superior procedure because that corneal flap can sometimes become dislodged. PRK is more painful, but has less complications and often times does not need as many follow-up appointments. I will say that I looked into both procedures and my optometrist pointed out that because my eyes are so minimally suboptimal that I would risk more issues with my sight as I age. Specifically with my up-close and personal sight capabilities.
    Good luck with either choice!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.