My PRK Experience: Why I Changed Providers 3 Days Pre-Op


Today, I will walk into a doctor's office and allow him to remove my corneas before zapping my eyeballs with lasers.

Sound nice?

I promise to be responsible and donate, but right now I'm daydreaming of running these glasses over with my car.

I'm getting PRK surgery which is almost the same as LASIK except for the whole cornea thing: LASIK cuts a flap in the cornea and replaces it post-op. PRK bypasses the flap issue and removes the whole cornea which heals back over a number of days.

I found reading the real mundane day-in, day-out details on other blogs to be very helpful beforehand and I hope to do the same (or at least have Sean do so for me) for anyone else out there considering corrective vision surgery.

While I'm sure it will be a few days before I'm ready to sit at a computer and record an update, the whole process really does begin pre-op. I had a consultation last November and I was told I wasn't a candidate for LASIK, but that I could do PRK. I was also told that due to my high prescription (in contacts, I'm a -9.0 and a -7.5, so pretty bad!), a full vision correction might not be possible. I was kind of bummed by this, but figured some correction was better than no correction, so we worked out a price and scheduled my procedure for January.

I mostly forgot about it until the New Year when things started to nag at me. Was partial correction the norm for someone like me? What was recovery really going to look like? Why hadn't I met my doctor let alone been informed who would actually be treating me on the day of the procedure? Why did the whole thing feel more like a timeshare presentation than a medical appointment?  Why was I being cornered into visiting an office so far from my home when there was one much closer?

I reached out to my provider with some of my questions, but I also decided to do some more research on my own. I read lots of blogs, found every review I could, and ultimately realized I needed to get a second opinion for my own peace of mind. I decided to visit the Baltimore LasikPlus location for a consultation...three days ago.

The whole process was significantly more thorough than the first and I felt I received better answers to all of my questions. When I mentioned what the previous provider had said about a partial correction, I immediately saw surprise on the person's face before being told that LasikPlus would not accept a candidate if they did not feel they could offer complete results.

I defnitely felt more at ease at LasikPlus, but the I knew the big question could be a deal breaker: what was it going to cost me? I had already budgeted for the cost quoted by my initial provider and I knew their cost was lower than the competition. But how much lower?

I had a max number in my head and thankfully, their quote was right in the range I'd been thinking of... and they could treat me the same day I'd originally scheduled elsewhere, I knew I was making the switch! I set everything up and called right away to cancel my original appointment.

It's too soon for me to say "go for it!" if you're considering LASIK or PRK (I suspect in a month or so, I'll be singing its praises), but I do want to say this: get the consultation. See what is or isn't right for you. Take your time. If you don't feel comfortable, think about why and if that means asking more questions or even interviewing other doctors until you feel the fit is right, do it. What is done to your eyes can't be undone.

Albeit last minute, I'm so glad I made a switch and I'm looking forward to kissing my contacts and glasses goodbye.

If you have questions or your own vision correction experience, I'd love to hear more in the comments—I'll hopefully be back in a few days!

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5 comments

  1. Good luck! My vision is almost that bad so I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience.

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  2. Whoa! Way to go! It sounds really intense, and I imagine the recovery won't be so fun but I hope that the results for you are amazing! I went for a Lasik consultation some years back but eventually decided I'm too much of a scaredy cat to go for it. Also, my vision isn't too, too bad. I mean, it's bad, but if I'm not driving or trying to see far away things like the powerpoint presentations at church or a movie theater screen, I don't wear my glasses. Since I still have the option to go without glasses, there's not as much motivation to do the surgery. Still, being able to open your eyes and just SEE really well...that would be amazing.

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  3. Thank you for your blog. I'm about a week out from my procedure, and it's starting to get real. Do I really want to do this? Is it really worth the risk? Like you wrote, what's done to your eyes can't be undone. I think you've completed your procedure. What are you honest thoughts? Worth it?

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    Replies
    1. Hey! I'm still in recovery technically but it's well worth it IMO. It's so weird to go to bed at night and realize I don't have to take my contacts out. I really do think things went well for me because of my choice of doctor. The best advice I can give is to find one you're 100% comfortable with. I ended up paying more, but it's a years-long investment :)

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