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!